Verdant Braes of Skreen

from by Debra Cowan

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(trad. arr. Cowan)
From the singing of Steve Tilston and Maggie Boyle

Another “False Young Man” ballad, this one comes from Ireland and credits Frank and Francis McPeake of Belfast as the source singers of this version.

lyrics

As I rode out one evening fair
By the verdant braes of Skreen
I put my back to the mossy tree
To view the sun in the west country
And the dew on the forest green

A lad I spied by Owen's side
And a maiden by his knee
And he was dark as the very brown wood
And she all whey and wan to see
All whey and wan was she

"Sit you down on the grass," said he.
"On the dewy grass so green
For the wee birds all have come and gone
Since I my love I have seen,” he said
“Since I my love I have seen"

"Oh I'll not sit on the grass," said she
"Nor a love I’ll be of thine
For I hear you love a Connaught maid
And your heart's no longer mine," she said
"And your heart's no longer mine."

"And I'll not heed what the old man says
For his days are well nigh done
And I'll not heed what the young man says
For he's fair to many the one," she said.
"Yes he's fair to many a one."

"But I will climb a high, high tree
And I'll rob a wild bird's nest
And I'll bring back what find there
To the arms that I love best," she said.
"To the arms that I love best."

As I rode out one evening fair
By the verdant braes of Skreen
I put my back to the mossy tree
To view the sun in the west country
And the dew on the forest green

credits

from The Long Grey Line, released January 23, 2001
Vocals: Debra Cowan
Guitar: Geoff Bartley
Fiddle: Hanneke Cassel

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about

Debra Cowan Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Singer Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of folk songs. Debra has two acclaimed solo recordings to her credit, and her third, “Fond Desire Farewell” was produced by former Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks. A former California resident, she now resides in Massachusetts and tours all over North America and the United Kingdom. ... more

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