Folks songs and apple trees in a secret orchard

Two songs inspired by nature

Having just got in from a most beautiful walk to the Secret Orchard I sat down at my laptop to write and this just came out.  The orchard is close by to where we have our Together We Rise community allotment plot (also known as Soggy Bottom Garden).  

As I sat there at dusk gazing at the gnarly old apple trees in awe at their beauty I suddenly became aware of a song somewhere in my consciousness that I had perhaps half-learnt a couple of years ago.  I knew it began “I gave my love an apple…” and so began a mental search of the words and tune.

This happens often by the way when I am out and about.  I will see a tree or flower or even a bit of countryside that will remind me of a long forgotten song.  It may even be a birdsong or the time of year but what usually ensues is a deep thought process and a search for the tune so I can hum it there and then or, if not, wander about learning it

On this occasion I almost found it somewhere deep in the recesses of my overflowing brain (and I don’t mean with intelligence or facts but rather to-do lists and assorted day to day things, you know how it is sometimes)

Anyway I nearly found it but a quick search on YouTube revealed this most delightful song in its entirety and it came flooding back.  (starts at 37 seconds)

So I stood and sang to the apple trees feeling a long lost connection to the person who perhaps first sung the song to the apple trees, to my forebears who may have sang the same song or felt the same emotions.  It is a very melancholic tune and actually it turns out to be a riddle

Here are the words:

I will give my love an apple without any core
I will give my love a house without any door
I will give my love a palace wherein he may be
And he may unlock it without any key

My head is the apple without any core
My mind is the house without any door
My heart is the palace wherein he may be
And he may unlock it without any key

According to Wikipedia:

“I Will Give my Love an Apple” is a traditional English folk song. It was arranged by Benjamin Britten and by Herbert Howells. The song begins: I will give my love an apple, I will give my love an apple without e’er a core, A version of the song was collected at Sherborne, Dorset, by H. E. D. Hammond in 1906; another version was printed in Folk Song Journal, vol. 11, 1907.

But there are many non-choral versions too, which I prefer

If you watch this marvellous old clip on YouTube it explains how the song was taken from the British Isles to America where it changed somewhat to become “I Gave My Love A Cherry”

Another lovely version by a choir is here  and a gorgeous modern-ish version here

And here is my attempt, not quite knowing the song yet in full

When I first sat down to write this I started humming the song but then another similarly tuned folk song came out “The Trees They Do Grow High“……  Again rather a sad song indeed.  About a girls true love dying and leaving her with a baby. I am in no way a trained musician but I kind of feel that the music and the feel of the two songs is similar

Anyway message of the day is GO OUTSIDE and sing to the trees!! Much love from Sherwood Forest

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