Of all the trees that grow so fair,
Old Engerland to adorn,
Greater are none beneath the Sun,
Than Oak and Ash and Thorn.
Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn, good Sirs
(All of a Midsummer’s morn)!
Surely we sing of no little thing,
In Oak and Ash and Thorn!
Beltane Border are a ‘border morris‘ group (folk dances originating along the Wales/England border). Here’s a short film found on Youtube, the work of Lucy Lightchild Scott, from an appearance at Stonehenge.
Over the midsummer weekend Beltane Border performed in Devon. There’s much stick-clashing, drum beating and flaming torches, and it’s not often you find things like this that still seem honest and uncontrived. A highlight was a magnificent version of Oak, Ash and Thorn, in the glow of a few torches as the sun went down.
I’d no idea the words of this song came from Rudyard Kipling’s Puck of Pook’s Hill. It sounds as old as the hills, which I imagine was his aim. Anyway, here’s the song arranged by Peter Bellamy.