The Seeds of Love
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This was a more "modern" version of an older tune Spring of Thyme. The words were written by Mrs. Fleetwood Habergam around 1689. The words may have orginally been sung to a traditional tune by Sir George Macfarren, Come open the door sweet Betty.

Each flower has a particular meaning: violet=modesty, lily=purity, pink=curtesy. The red rose was symbolic of true love and the willow was symbolic of sorrow.

The Pink may be the a pink rockrose (C. villosus), introduced from the Mediterranean to Britain in 1650. However, there may be another flower commonly refered to at the time as the pink.

I sow'd the Seeds of Love
And I sow'd them in the spring,
I gather'd them up in the morning so soon,
While the small birds so sweetly sing.
While the small birds so sweetly sing.

My garden was planted well
with flowers ev'rywhere
But I had not the liberty
to choose for myself
of the flow'rs that I love so dear,
Of the flow'rs that I love so dear.

The gard'nr was standing by
And I ask'd him to choose for me.
He chose for the the Violet,
the Lily and the Pink
But those I refused all three;
But those I refused all three.

The Violet I did not like,
Because it bloom'd so soon.
The Lily and the Pink I really overthink,
So I vow'd that I would wait till June.
So I vow'd that I would wait till June.

In June there was a red Rosebud
And that is the flow'r for me.
I oftentimes have pluck'd
that red Rosebud
Till I gained the willow tree,
Till I gained the willow tree.

The willow tree will twist
And the willow tree will twine,
I oftentimes have wish'd I
were in that young man's arms
That once had the heart of mine,
That once had the heart of mine.

Come, all you false young men,
Do not leave me here to complain,
For the grass that has oftentimes
been trampled under foot,
Give it time, it will rise again.
Give it time, it will rise again.
Related Links
From One Hundred English Folksongs
See Bibliography for full information.