From the recording Lynnhaven Bay
The melody for "The Ash Grove" was first published in 1802 in a collection called The Bardic Museum, under the name "Llwyn-onn," with a note that this was "The name of Mr. Jones's mansion, near Wrexham in Denbighshire." Several sets of lyrics have been set to this tune, and for this rendition, we chose a lesser known version written in Welsh by Bessie Orwig Jones and translated into English by A.G. Prys-Jones. We have been told that this tune was a favorite of Martha Washington, but this is doubtful since she passed away the same year it was published. We have played it so frequently at Mount Vernon, however, that it has become a favorite of one of our friends, Anna Cosner, former Manager of Special Events at Mount Vernon, and we would like to dedicate this recording of the tune to her. The flute harmony part in this arrangement is used by permission of its composer, Matt Seattle, taken from his book, Airs for Pairs.
The new moon was rising above the old oak tree
As I stood awaiting the voice of my love,
The red sun had set in the deeps of the ocean,
And I was alone in the glade of Ash Grove.
How white were the homesteads that lay all around me,
How rich were their acres midst hillock and height!
I knew every cottage, each woodland and pathway
Where sweethearts come walking and talking at night.
O keen was my vigil from dawn until twilight,
How slowly long hours passed out of my ken!
But I was so happy and yet so distressful,
My heart and my mind dwelling only on him.
My waiting grew anxious as wings on the evening
Enfolded that landscape so perfect for love:
But when he drew near me to kiss me and cheer me,
All time ceased to be in the glade of Ash Grove.