It was on the fifth of August
The weather fair and mild
Unto Brigg Fair I did repair
For a love I was inclined.
I got up with the lark in the morning
And my heart was full of glee
Expecting there to meet my dear
Long time I’d wished to see.
I looked over my left shoulder
To see what I might see
And there I spied my own true love
Come a-tripping down to me.
I took hold of her lily-white hand
And merrily sang my heart
For now we are together
We never more shall part.
For the green leaves, they will wither
And the roots, they shall decay
Before that I prove false to her
The lass that loves me well.
In 1905, Percy Grainger recorded two verses of Brigg Fair, sung by Joseph Taylor during a Lincolnshire music competition. Grainger added extra verses from other folksongs to produce one of the most poetic and iconic of English songs which is still much played today in both folk and orchestral settings. Although the world of Brigg Fair now seems long gone, it’s to be hoped that the enduring nature of love, and our love for nature, is not.