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Oak and Ash and Thorn

Under the original title "A Tree Song" from famed English poet Rudyard Kipling, contained in Puck of Pook's Hill, it was set to music and renamed to Oak, Ash and Thorn by storied folksinger Peter Bellamy. In the liner notes of his album titled the same, Bellamy wrote:

Kipling entitled this poem A Tree Song, and it is to be found in the story Weland's Sword. Both the tale and the song set the mood and pattern for all the stories and poems which follow. The tune is intended to recall those of some of the old wassail and ritual songs.

As with many songs contained in Puck of Pook's Hill, the theme of opposition to rule prevails.

The song occurs frequently in The Longest Johns livestreams, with JD on the old stringy-planky.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their Livestreams, the original lyrics can be found here.

{JD} Of all the trees that grow so fair, old England to adorn,
Greater are none beneath the sun than Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.

{Chorus}
Sing Oak, and Ash, and Thorn, good sirs,
All on a midsummer's morn.
Surely we'll sing of no little thing
In Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.

{JD}
Yew that is old, in churchyard mould, he breedeth a mighty bow
Alder for shoes do wise men choose, and Beech for cups also
But when you have killed, and your bowl it is filled, and your shoes are clean outworn
Back you must speed for all that you need to Oak, and Ash, and Thorn

{Chorus x2}

{JD}
Elm, she hates mankind and waits, 'til every gust be laid,
To drop a limb on the head of him that anyway trusts her shade,
But whether a lad be sober or sad, or mellow with ale from the horn,
He'll take no wrong when he lyeth along 'neath Oak, and Ash, and Thorn

{Chorus x2}

{JD}
Oh, do not tell the priest our plight, for he would call it a sin,
But we've been out in the woods all night, a-conjuring summer in,
We bring you good news by word of mouth, good news for cattle and corn
Sure as the sun come up from the south, by Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.

{Chorus x4}

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