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I first heard this track on the debut album of All About Eve, and was struck by the beauty of the melody, and their rather sparse arrangement. I had not heard it in many years, but in recent times I was listening to the album Silver Came by Burd Ellen (burdellen.bandcamp.com), and their arrangements using shruti box drones inspired me to make an attempt at this track.
Once I had finished working on my version I then listened to the All About Eve track for the first time in many years, and although this version is very much in my own style, it clearly owes a debt to my embedded memories of theirs. I encourage you to listen to that version, if only to hear the wonderful way Julianne Regan shapes the melody through the verses.
There are various versions of this song's lyrics, including a four verse version that is often attributed in part to Padraic Colum, but i find the third verse of that version unnecessary to the narrative, and somewhat clunky to sing, so i have performed a more traditional three verse version.
The lyrics also exist in fragments in several other songs, particularly, I Once Had a True Love, and My Young Love Said to Me. As with all of these old songs, no one version is 'right', and the choices we make are simply preference.
I hope you enjoy my take on this beautiful song.
My young love said to me, "My mother won't mind,
and my father won't slight you for your lack of kine*"
Then she stepped away from me and this she did say:
It shall not be long, love, till our wedding day"
She stepped away from me and she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her go here and go there
Then she made her way homeward, under one star awake
Like the swan in the evening moves over the lake
Last night she came to me, my dead love came in
And so softly she entered, her feet made no din
Then she laid her hands on me and this she did say
"It will not be long, love, 'til our wedding day"
(*kine is an archaic word meaning cows or cattle - literally my father won't disregard your suit based on your lack of wealth)
released October 2, 2020
All vocals, instruments, recording & mixing : Andi Lee
Lyrics & Melody: Trad Arranged Andi Lee
Mastering: Matt Steady
Photograph near Oslo, Norway : Andi Lee
With thanks to Piers Cawley & Debbie Armour for their kind advice and feedback.