When All The World Was Young

from Mountscribe by Rowan Piggott

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I learnt this from Roger Leach – a great singer & fiddler of the Brighton Irish music scene. Featuring the words of A.E. Housman and Charles Kingsley, it was set to this air by Kathleen Behan so for me, it's a great synthesis of English & Irish traditions.


When all the world was young, lad,
And all the leaves were green,
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen,
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away!
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had
For many a rose-lipped maiden
And many a light-foot lad;
By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot lads are laid,
The rose-lipped girls lie sleeping
In fields where roses fade.

When all the world is old, lad,
And all the leaves are brown,
And those big high hopes you cherished, lad
Come trembling tumbling down,
Creep home, and take your place there
The spent and maim’d among;
I pray you find one face there
You loved when all was young...


from Mountscribe, released January 14, 2018
Rowan Piggott – Voice / Shruti Box / Fiddle


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Rowan Piggott Sheffield, UK

Rowan is a fiddle-singer, writer and tunesmith who grew up in the foothills of the Burren on the west coast of Ireland, surrounded by traditional music. The author of two successful tunebooks, he has also written articles for The Living Tradition magazine and led fiddle workshops at festivals all over the country. In 2016, he won the Future of Young Folk Award at Bromyard Folk Festival. ... more

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