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The Colour of Amber

[ Roud 1716 ; Ballad Index RcColAmb ; trad.]

Mary Ann Haines sang The Colour of Amber in a recording made by Mike Yates in her home in Brighton, Sussex on July 7, 1974. This was included in 1976 on the Topic anthology Green Grow the Laurels: Country Singers from the South and in 1998 on My Father's the King of the Gypsies (The Voice of the People series, Volume 11).

The English Acoustic Collective sang The Colour of Amber in 2004 on their CD Ghosts, and this track was included in 2009 on Chris Wood's anthology Albion.

Sylvia Barnes sang The Colour of Amber as the title track of her 2007 Greentrax album The Colour of Amber. She commented in her liner notes:

I learned this from the excellent Voice of the People collection from a recording of traveller Mary Ann Haynes who was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, in 1903. She settled in Brighton, Sussex, where nearly a hundred songs were collected from her in the 1970's, almost certainly learned within the close-knit traveller community.

The recording has only three verses, but shows some textual similarities to a number of songs already in my repertoire. I borrowed some floating verses for my version.

Lady Maisery's Hazel Askew learned The Colour of Amber from Mary Ann Haines' recording, and they sang it on their 2011 CD Weave & Spin. They also sang it at Sharpe's Pottery, Swadlincote:

Lyrics

Mary Ann Haynes sings The Colour of AmberLady Maisery sing The Colour of Amber

Oh, the colour of amber was my love's hair,
And his two blue eyes they enticed me,
And his ruby lips, they being soft and fine,
Oh, many a time they've been pressed to mine.

Oh, the colour of amber is my true love's hair,
And his two blue eyes enticed me.
And his ruby lips, so soft and so fine,
Many's the time they've been pressed to mine.

Oh, I'll go a-fishing in yonder's brook
There I'll catch my love with a line and a hook,
And if he loves me, oh, like I love him,
No man on earth shall part us two.

Oh, I'll walk a-fishing to yonder's brook
Where I'll catch my love with a line and a hook.
And if he loves me like I love him,
No man on earth shall part us two.

Now, I wish, I wish, now this is all in vain.
Oh, I wish to God I was a maiden again.
Oh, a maid again I shall never more be,
Whilst apples growed on a orange tree.

Oh, I wish, how I wish, but it's all in vain,
Oh, I wish I was a maiden again.
But a maiden again I never shall be,
Till apples grow on a orange tree.

(repeat first verse)

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Lyric/Info req: The Colour of Amber.