The Trees They Do Grow High
Version 2
Download Midi File
Charles Wingate


Information
Lyrics
This tune is known by many titles. In addition to that above it is also known as Daily Growing and Bonny Boy is Young (But Growing). It first appeared in print in 1792 as Lady Mary Ann. There are numerous versions of both the tune and lyrics. In one set of lyrics the groom is twelve when he marries and a father at 13.

The ballad was printed on numerous broadsides. For copies of some of these see the Bodleian Library.

The words may have been based upon the 17th century wedding of Lord Craighton to Elizabeth Innes. She was several years older than he and he died in 1634 shortly after the wedding. Scholars note, however, that the ballad may be older, as child marriages were common in the Middle Ages.

The trees they do grow high,
And the leaves they do grow green;
But the time is past and gone, my love,
That you and I have been.
It's a cold winter's night, my love,
And here I must abide alone:
My bonny lad was young, but a-growing.
Growing, growing,
O my bonny lad was young,
But a-growing.


"O Father, dearest Father,
I fear you've done me wrong,
For you've married me to a bonnie boy,
But I fear he is too young."
"O Daughter, dearest Daughter,
If you'll stay at home a time with me,
A lady you shall be while he's growing."
Growing, growing,
O a lady you shall be,
While he's a-growing.


"We'll send him to a college
For a year or two,
And then perhaps in time, my love,
Into a man he'll grow.
I will buy you a ribbon blue
To tie around his bonny waist
To let the ladies know that he's married."
Married, married,
O to let the ladies know
That he's married.


At the age of sixteen,
He was a married man,
And at the age of seventeen,
The father of a son,
And at the age of eighteen,
His grave it was a-growing green,
And that did put an end to his growing.
Growing, growing,
O and that did put an end
To his growing.


The trees they do grow high,
And the leaves they do grow green;
But the time is past and gone, my love,
That you and I have been.
It's a cold winter's night, my love,
And here I must abide alone:
My bonny lad was young, but a-growing.
Growing, growing,
O my bonny lad was young,
But a-growing.


  • Other versions at this site:

  • Lyrics and Music From Charles Wingate (Thank You!)
    Partly from Benjamin Britten's Folksong Arrangements and
    The International Book of Folk Songs