Songlines #3 – She Moved Through the Fair

What song means the most to you and why?

Una chose She Moved Through The Fair

My young love said to me my mother won’t mind,
And my daughters won’t slight you for your lack of kine,
He went away from me and this he did say,
‘It will not be long love til our wedding day.’

He went away from me and he moved through the fair,
And slowly I watched him move here and move there,
He went his way homeward with one star awake,
As the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

The people were saying no two were e’er wed
But one has a sorrow that never was said,
And I smiled as she passed with her goods and her gear,
And that was the last that I saw of my dear.

I dreamed last night that my young love came in,
He came in so sweetly, his feet made no din;
He came close beside me, and this he did say,
‘It will not be long love, till our wedding day.’

5 comments so far

  1. practical psychologist on

    Must confess that songlines have never really moved me. However, one song I am currently enjoying (for the second time around) is Janis Ian’s ‘At Seventeen’. Written for teenage girls of course but a lovely song and a lovely lyric.

    I leaned the truth at seventeen that love was meant for beauty queens
    And high school girls with clear-skinned smiles who married young and then retired.
    The valentines I never knew, the Friday night charades of youth
    Were spent on one more beautiful. At seventeen I learned the truth.
    And those of us with ravaged faces, lacking in the social graces,
    Desperatly remained at home, inventing lovers on the phone
    Who called to say, “Come dance with me,” and murmured vague obscenities.
    It isn’t all it seems at seventeen.
    A brown-eyed girl in hand-me-downs whose name I never could pronounce
    Said, “Pity, please, the ones who serve; they only get what they deserve.
    The rich relationed hometown queen marries into what she needs.
    A guarantee of company and haven for the elderly.”
    Remember those who win the game lose the love they sought to gain.
    In debentures of quality and dubious integrity.
    Their small-town eyes will gape at you in dull surprise when payment due
    Exceeds accounts received at seventeen.
    To those of us who know the pain of valentines that never came,
    And those whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball.
    It was long ago and far away; the world was much younger than today
    And dreams were all they gave away for free to ugly duckling girls like me.
    We all play the game and when we dare to cheat ourselves at solitaire.
    Inventing lovers on the phone, repenting other lives unknown
    That call and say, “Come dance with me,” and murmur vague obscenities
    At ugly duckling girls like me at seventeen.

  2. ArkAngel on

    I didn’t mean ‘songlines’ as in ‘lines from songs’ but in the sense of indigenous Australian culture [] (as addressed in Bruce Chatwin’s eponymous book) and then extrapolated to capture the global travel of music and its universality.

    Next time I see you in person I’m going to whip out the ol’ taperecorder and ask you to answer the Songlines question: What song means the most to you and why?

    Not sure my initial posts have been brilliant in capturing that the core of these posts are the MP3 interview recordings (have tried to make that clearer).

  3. practical psychologist on

    I might then struggle with this. I am not sure any really means that much to me. I tend to play something to death which I love but can then never listen to it again. Great for musical exploration but no good for loyalty. This makes it very difficult to speak about anything with emotion because it is retained only for the period in which I can listen to the song. Although I take your point I presume you would not be allowing allowing instrumentals? They often mean more to me.

    Will however, give some thought before I next see you.

  4. ArkAngel on

    Instrumentals are fine (mine [not yet posted] is one).

  5. […] Songlines #3 – She Moved Through the Fair […]

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