Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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The May-day, or Mayers' Song, which is printed by Hone, in his Every-day Book (i. 569), "as sung at Hitchin,in Hertfordshire," is also to this tune. It is a semi-religious medley,a puritanical May-song (" of great antiquity," says Hone), and begins thus:
" Bemember us poor Mayers all,            We have been rambling all the night,
And thus we do begin,                       And almost all the day,
To lead our lives in righteousness, And now, returned back again,
Or else we die in sin.                          We have brought you a branch of May."
The carol is sometimes sung in a major key, and sometimes in a minor ; besides which difference, scarcely any two copies agree in the second part.
Having printed Hone's version, and one in a major key, in National English Airs, I now give a third copy, noted down by Dr. Rimbault. It has a repetition of words at the end which some others hare not.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III