Rosebud in June

English Folk Song

Compiled by Robert Burns

It’s a rosebud in June and the violets in full bloom,
And the small birds singing love songs on each spray.

We’ll pipe and we’ll sing love.  We’ll dance in a ring love.
When each lad takes his lass,  All on the green grass,
And it’s, oh, to plough where the fat oxen graze low,
And the lads and the lasses do sheep-shearing go.

When we have all sheared our jolly, jolly sheep,
What joy can be greater than to talk of their increase? (Chorus)

For their flesh it is good, it’s the best of all food,
And their wool it will cloth us and keep our backs from the cold. (Chorus)

Here’s the ewes and the lambs, here’s the hogs and the rams,
And the fat wethers too they will make a fine show. (Chorus)

Song Notes

When Bounding Main first came together I picked this song out as something that we might sing together.  However, while it was acapella, it was neither a sea song nor a drinking song, per se.  It is a favorite tune of mine which I learned from listening to Steeleye Span’s Below the Salt collection.

This song is from the “Journals of the Folk-Song Society,” collected from William King by Cecil Sharp in Somerset, 1904, but it dates to a couple hundred years earlier.