The Mummers Dance
By Loreena McKennitt

When in the springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair

When owls call the breathless moon
In the blue veil of the night
The shadows of the trees appear
Amidst the lantern light

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And sometime of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

Who will go down to those shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the spring time of the year

On the evening that I mentioned
I passed with light intention
Through a part of our dear country
Known for beauty and for style
In the place of noble thinkers
Of scholars and great drinkers
But above them all for splendor
Shone the Queen of all Argyle

Chorus…

So my lads I needs must leave you
My intentions no’ to grieve you
Nor indeed would I deceive you
Oh, I’ll see you in a while
I must find some way to gain her
To court her and attain her
I fear my hearts in danger
From the Queen of all Argyle

Chorus (twice)

The songs of the birds seem to fill the wood
And when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days

Chorus…

And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone

“A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
It is a sprout well budded out
The work of our Lord’s hands”

Chorus (Twice)