She's Like The Swallow

introduced by Suzanne Mrozak

swallowThis beautiful version of "She's Like the Swallow" comes from The Folk Songs of Canada, by Edith Fulton Fowke (Literary Editor) and Richard Johnston (Music Editor), first published in 1954. My own copy of the book is the 1955 second printing and I learned it a few years after that. Fowke identifies this as a song from Newfoundland but does not name her source. Dr. Neil Rosenberg, Professor Emeritus, Department of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland, who has published a wonderfully detailed scholarly article about the song, says that Fowke collected it from Albert Simms from McCallum Harbour, Hermitage Bay. The text that Dr. Rosenberg cites is different from the one Fowke published, however, so the actual source is a bit of a mystery.

Listen to Alan Mills sing the tune from the CD: Songs, Fiddle Tunes and a Folk Tale from Canada, by Alan and Jean Carignan:

 

Score Shes Like The Swallow sm


Click on the image for a downloadable PDF

LYRICS

She’s like the swallow that flies so high,
She’s like the river that never runs dry,
She’s like the sunshine on the lee shore,
I love my love and love is no more.

‘Twas out in the garden this fair maid did go,
A-picking the beautiful prim-e-rose;
The more she plucked the more she pulled
Until she got her a-per-on full

It’s out of those roses she made a bed,
A stony pillow for her head.
She laid her down, no word she spoke,
Until this fair maid’s heart was broke.

She’s like the swallow that flies so high,
She’s like the river that never runs dry,
She’s like the sunshine on the lee shore,
I love my love and love is no more.


Suzanne Mrozak fell in love with traditional music when she was introduced to it as part of her elementary school education in Clarkson, Ontario, and it continues to be one of the great joys of her life. After attending McGill University in Montreal – where she hung out in coffeehouses listening to The Stormy Clovers do Leonard Cohen covers - she moved to Chicago where, in addition to more coffeehouses, she discovered the Old Town School of Folk Music and the University of Chicago Folk Festival. When Suzanne arrived in Boston in 1979, she was thrilled to find that in addition to even more coffeehouses, there was a folk song society (The Folk Song Society of Greater Boston) with regular informal musical gatherings. Plus they sang many of the same songs she had been singing for years! Now, many years later, Suzanne considers herself very lucky to have landed in Boston and been welcomed into the remarkable folk community that exists there. 

     
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