The Woods So Wild
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This song was a favorite from approximately the middle of the sixtenth centry and onward. It was mentioned in The Life of Peter Carew as one of the songs Peter Carew used to sing with Henry VIII. Three different versions appeared in Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book and in Lady Neville's Pammelia (1609). It appeared in the 1650-1690 versions of The Dancing Master. In the 1650 edition is is named Greenwood and in later vesions is is named Greenwood, or The Huntsman.

There are two versions of the song in the Fitzwilliam Virginal book, one by Byrd, and one by Gibbons, this tune is the one by Byrd. The first and third lines are not original, but were added in 1914 for One Hundred Songs of England.

Shall I go walk the wood so wild,
Wand'ring, wand'ring here adn there,
As I was once full sore beguild,
Alas! for love! I die with woe.
Wearilky blows the winter wind,
Wand'ring, wand'ring here adn there,
My heart is like a striken hind,
Alas! for love I die with woe.

Related Links
From One Hundred Songs of England and
*Popular Music of the Olden Time
See Bibliography for full information.