Breedloves's Folk Songs



“Wildwood Flower” is an American song, best known through performances and
recordings by the Carter Family. However, the song predates them. The original title was
“I’ll Twine ‘Mid the Ringlets”. The song was written in 1860, with words by Maud Irving
and music by Joseph Philbrick Webster. The tune was used by Woody Guthrie for the
verses of his song “The Sinking of the Reuben James” (about the USS Reuben James).
Guthrie’s song had a tune of his own devising on the chorus. Although originally a parlor
song, the song had undergone quite a bit of the folk process by the time the Carter Family
recorded it. The song has also become a standard instrumental piece for guitarists of all
skill levels. In 1955, Hank Thompson and Merle Travis recorded an instrumental that
reached number 5 on the Country charts. In 1960, Joan Baez included it on her Vanguard
debut album Joan Baez.

Oh I’ll twine with my mingles and waving black hair
With the roses so red and the lilies so fair
And the mirtles so bright with the emerald dew
The pale and the leader and eyes look like blue

I will dance I will sing and my laugh shall be gay
I will charm every heart in each crown I will sway
When I woke from my dreaming my idols were clay
All portions of love had all blown away

Oh he taught me to love him and promised to love
And to cherish me over all others above
How my heart is now wondering no misery can tell
He’s left me no warning no words of farewell

Oh he taught me to love him and call me his flower
That was blooming to cheer him through life’s dreary hour
Oh I long to see him and regret the dark hour
He’s gone and neglected his pale wildwood flower

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