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The Ash Grove (Llwyn Onn)

[ Roud V18199 ; words Harald Boulton, music Welsh trad.]

The Ash Grove (Welsh: Llwyn Onn) is a traditional Welsh folk song whose melody has been set to numerous sets of lyrics.

Martin Carthy sang a version of The Ash Grove with words written by Harald Boulton and published in Boulton’s book Songs of the Four Nations (J.B. Cramer, 1900, p. 180) in 1984 on the Greenwich Village album The Old Songs. He was accompanied by Sue Harris on hammered dulcimer.

Allister Thompson sang The Ash Grove on his 2024 album Ancestors.


Martin Carthy sings The Ash Grove

The fair woodland bowers are peopled with flowers,
The trees, long forsaken, with green buds abound;
But trust not the weather though all bloom together;
When the ash trees awaken. then summer’s come round.
Ah! sweet was the pleasure, in long days of leisure.
When life lay before us, in greenwood to rove;
Mild breezes were blowing, glad streamlets were flowing,
The birds sang in chorus throughout the Ash Grove.

’Tis years since together we hailed the warm weather,
When ash trees in maytime awaken to life.
Old comrades, light-hearted, long since have departed.
Instead of youth’s playtime, there’s sorrow and strife.
Yet when woodland bowers are filled with fresh flowers,
’Neath trees of green splendour ’tis comfort to rove;
Though glimpses of gladness are mingled with sadness,
With memories most tender I seek the Ash Grove.


See also the Wikipedia article The Ash Grove.