The Ballad Of Reynardine


One evening as I rambled down by Pomeroy
I met a pretty fair maid all on the mountains high
Says I: “My pretty fair maid your beauty shines clear
On this lonely mountain, I’m glad to see you here”

Says she: “Kind sir, be civil and my company forsake
For it is my opinion that you are a rake
And if my father finds out his anger I would fear
For keeping of your company all on the mountains here”

“O no, I am no rake but brought up in high degree
But I live a life of solitude up here among the trees
Your beauty has ensnared me I cannot pass you by
Do not be afraid of me all on these mountains high”

This pretty little fair maid she fell into amaze
As with eyes as bright as amber upon her I did gaze
And her ruby lips and rosy cheeks they lost their former dye
As she fell into my arms all on the mountains high

I had not kissed her once or twice till she came to again
And modestly she asked me: “Sir, what is your name?”
“If you go in yon forest my castle you may find
My name, as old as History, is: Reynardine”

“Now my pretty fair maid don’t let your father know
For if you do, ‘t will ruin you and prove your overthrow
And if that you should seek for me perhaps you’ll not me find
I’ll be in my castle; enquire for Reynardine”

Her hair was black, her eyes were blue, her lips like ruby wine
And I smiled to gaze upon her, sly bold Reynardine
Sun and dark she followed after me, my teeth did brightly shine
As I led her o’er the mountain, sly bold Reynardine

Traditional. (New music: Andy Irvine)

“The Ballad of Reynardine/Johnny Cúig” is a two-part piece arranged by Irvine. First, “The Ballad of Reynardine” is the old Irish ballad from County Tyrone which Irvine has set to the vigorous pace of the ‘paidushka’ rhythm (5/8); second, “Johnny Cúig” is Irvine’s re-interpretation of “Johnny Cope” (the hornpipe he recorded with Planxty on Cold Blow and the Rainy Night) from which he selected some of the parts and reset them to 5/8 also, ‘cúig’ meaning ‘five’ in Irish.


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