After last week’s happy love, we have to go to the other extreme this week with an unhappy love story. Green Grow the Laurels tells the story of a young man in love with a girl who no longer loves him.The origins of the song seem to be in 17th century Scotland but there are versions from all over Britain & America. I’m not sure how contented the young man is as he keeps haunting his old love’s window. She seems pretty fed up with him as she gives him scornful looks & sends back his letters. A sad love story indeed.
I once had a sweetheart but now I’ve got none
She’s gone and she’s left me alone all alone.
She’s gone and she’s left me, contented I’ll be
For she loves another one better than me.
Green grows the laurel and so does the yew
And it’s sorry I’ll be at the parting of you
But at our next meeting I’ll hope you’ll prove true
And exchange your green laurels for the red, white and blue.
I wrote my love a letter in red rosy leaves
She wrote me one back that was twisted and twined
Saying ‘Keep your love letters and I will keep mine
You can write to your true love and I’ll write to mine.’
I passed my love’s window both early and late
And the looks that she gave me my poor heart did ache
And the looks that she gave me ten thousand would kill
She’s the heart of an innocent, she’s the one I love still.