Searching for lambs

Music: Trad. arr. Douglas Cook, Words: Traditional English

Voicing: SATB

Performance time approx: 2m 00s

Range S: d' – d'' / A: b♭ – g' / T: d – d' / B: G – c'

Price code: B


This a traditional spring song with an arching melody and lilting 5/4 and 3/4 rhythm. It tells of a young man waylaying a young woman on her way to feed her father’s lambs, and ends promisingly with a pledge of marriage!

In verses 2–5, tenors and sopranos represent youth and maid respectively (these verses can be taken by soloists). The metre is not strict — take time especially in the 3/4 bars to let the song breathe. The dynamics should rise and fall naturally with the rise and fall of the melody.

As I went out one May morning, one May morning betime,
I met a maid from home had strayed, just as the sun did shine.

What makes you rise so soon my dear, your journey to pursue?
Your pretty little feet they are so sweet, strike off the morning dew.

I'm going to feed my father's flock, his young and tender lambs,
That over hills and over dales lie waiting for their dams.

O stay, o stay you handsome maid and rest a moment here,
For there is none but you alone that I do love so dear.

How gloriously the sun doth shine, how pleasant is the air,
I'd rather rest on a true love's breast than any other where.

For I am thine and thou art mine, no man shall uncomfort thee,
We'll join our hands in wedded bands and a-married we will be.

Traditional English

Card ImageWorld, traditional, folk

Searching for lambs

Douglas Cook


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