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The Unquiet Grave

From an Indo-European superstition that excessive mourning can disturb and torment the dead.

This version from America, but not from the Joan Baez song book.
See also version (ii), tune from Herefordshire, England, and
version (iii), tune from Upwey, Dorset, England.
MIDI


    Cold blows the wind to my true love,
    And gently drops the rain;
    I never had but one true love
    And in greenwood she lies slain,
         And in greenwood she lies slain.

    I'll do as much for my true love
    As any young man may;
    I'll sit and mourn all on her grave,
    For a twelve-month and a day,
         For a twelve month and a day.

    When the twelve-month and one day was past
    The ghost began to speak;
    "Why sittest here all on my grave
    And will not let me sleep,
         And will not let me sleep ?"

    My breast it is as cold as clay,
    My breath is earthly strong;
    And if you kiss my cold clay lips
    Your days they won't be long,
         Your days they won't be long.

    O down in yonder grove, sweetheart,
    Where we were wont to walk;
    The first flower that ever I saw
    Is withered to a stalk,
         Is withered to a stalk.

    The stalk is withered and dead, sweetheart,
    And the flower will never return;
    And since I lost my own true love
    What can I do but mourn,
         What can I do but mourn ?

    When shall we meet again, sweetheart,
    When shall we meet again ?
    When the oaken leaves that fall from the trees
    Are green and spring up again,
         Are green and spring up again.