Holmfirth Anthem

The Pretty Flowers or Through the Groves

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Melody - Traditional, from Yorkshire
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J. Perkins?

|: Abroad for pleasure as I was a-walking
On one summer summer's evening clear :|
There I beheld a most beautiful damsel
Lamenting for her shepherd swain.

2. The fairest evening that e'er I beheld thee
Evermore with the lad I adore
Wilt thou go fight the French and Spaniards
Wilt thou leave me thus my dear?

3. No more to yon green banks will I take thee
With pleasure for to rest myself and view the lambs
But I will take thee to yon green gardens
Where the pretty flowers grow.


This florid and idyllic fragment was called the Holmfirth Anthem because the people of Holmfirth, Yorkshire, were so fond of singing it and may still be heard in the Yorkshire Dales. J. Perkins lived near Holmfirth and was so musical he called one of his sons Mendelssohn Perkins. But he may not have really written the song at all, merely gained fame by arranging it for four voices, and that the song was far older than J. Perkins.

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