The Oak and the Ash

Melody - from at least the early 1600s; Seq. by Lesley Nelson
Melody - from the English Dancing Master, 1651

Northumbrian ballad

A North Country maid up to London had strayed,
Although with her nature it did not agree.
She wept and she sighed, and so bitterly she cried,
How I wish once again in the North I could be!
Oh the oak and the ash, and the bonny ivy tree,
They flourish at home in my own country.

2. While sadly I roam I regret my dear home,
Where lads and young lasses are making the hay.
The merry bells ring and the birds sweetly sing,
The meadows are pleasant and maidens are gay.

3. No doubt, did I please, I could marry with ease,
For where maidens are fair many lovers will come,
But the one whom I wed must be North Country bred,
And tarry with me in my North Country home.

The tune started as a dance tune, including James Hawkin's TRANSCRIPTS OF MUSIC FOR THE VIRGINALS, and The English Dancing Master, of 1651, under the title Goddesses.

In the Roxburghe Collection, the song is titled "The Northern Lassie's Lamentation; or, the Unhappy Maid's Misfortune.