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Red Is the Rose

[ Roud - ; Ballad Index So28n3a ; trad.]

Bram Taylor sang Red Is the Rose in 1984 on his Fellside album Bide a While. This track was also included in 1999 on his Fellside anthology Singing! The Bram Taylor Collection. He noted:

An Irish song with a Scottish tune and the Lancashire emblem in its title. Quite a Brit. mix! Thanks to Joyce Riding of the Harwich Folk Club for the words.

Iain MacGillivray sang Red Is the Rose in 1986 on his Fellside album Rolling Home. He noted:

The chorus of this song is always well sung at folk gatherings probably because the Irish words are set to the well known Scottish tune Loch Lomond.

German band More Maids sang Red Is the Rose live at the Kulturzentrum Dieselstraße, Esslingen/Neckar in March 2002, then still with a very young Gudrun Walther on lead vocals. A recording of this concert was released in the same year on their CD Live.

A Different Thread sang Red Is the Rose on their 2020 EP Some Distant Shore. They noted on their YouTube video:

This traditional Irish ballad is the first song that we learned together after we met busking in Galway, back in 2016.

Lyrics

More Maids sing Red Is the Rose

Chorus (after each verse):
Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows,
And fair is the lily of the valley.
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any.

Come over the hills, my bonny blue-eyed lad,
Come over the hills to your darling.
You choose the rose, love, and I'll make the vow
And I'll be your true love forever.

'Twas down by the green shady woods that we strayed
And the moon and the stars they were shining.
The moon shone its rays on his locks of golden hair
And he swore he'd be my love forever.

It's not for the parting that my father pains,
It's not for the grief of my mother.
'Tis all for the loss of my bonny blue-eyed lad
That my heart is breaking forever.

A Different Thread sing Red Is the Rose

Chorus
Red is the Rose in yonder garden grows,
Fair is the lily of the valley.
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
And my love is fairer than any.

Come over the sea, my bonnie English lad,
Come over the sea to your darling.
I'll choose the road and you'll make a vow
And you'll swear to love me forever.

Chorus

T'was down by Killarney's green woods that we strayed
And the moon and the stars they were shining
And the moon shone its rays down on your pretty face
And you swore to love me forever.

Well it ain't for the parting that your dear sister pains,
It ain't for the grief of your mother.
It is all for the loss of my bonnie English lass
That my heart now is breaking forever.

Chorus

Links

See the Mudcat Café thread Origin: Red Is the Rose.