Swalcliffe May Day Carol
May Day Carol, included in the Blunt collection.
The words were noted by Miss Aniie Norris around 1840 from the singing of a group of children at Swalcliffe, North Oxfordshire. The words were passed onto Janet Blunt in 1908, and she finally collected a tune for the song from Mrs Woolgrove of Swalcliffe, and Mrs Lynes of Sibford, at Sibford fete, July 1921.
- Awake! awake! lift up your eyes
And pray to God for grace
Repent! repent! of your former sins
While ye have time and space
- I have been wandering all this night
And part of the last night
So now I've come for to sing you a song
And to show you a branch of May
- A branch of may I have brought you
And at your door it stands
It does spread out, and it spreads all about
By the work of our Lord’s hands
- Man is but a man, his life’s but a span
He is much like a flower
He’s here today and he's gone tomorrow
So he’s all gone down in an hour
- So now I have sung you my little short song
I can no longer stay
God bless you all both great and small
And I wish you a happy May
(as printed in Michael Pickering, "Village Song and Culture".
The words and tune are given in Tony Foxworthy, "Forty Long Miles".