She stepped away from me
And she moved through the Fair
And fondly I watched her
Move here and move there
She went her way homeward
With one star awake
As the swans in the evening
Move over the lake.
The people were saying
No two e'er were wed
But one has a sorrow
That never was said
And she smiled as she passed me
With her goods and her gear
And that was the last
That I saw of my dear.
I dreamed it last night
That my true love came in
So softly she entered
Her feet made no din
She came close beside me
And this she did say
It will not be long, love
Till our wedding day.
Traditional, arr. and adapted by Loreena McKennitt
From: Elemental (1985).
Live version: Live in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts (1995).
This traditional song comes in different versions. Compare for example
the lyrics of:
-- She moved through the fair by Loreena McKennitt
-- He moved through the fair by Sarah Brightman
-- She moves through the fair by All about Eve
-- She moved through the fair by Charlotte Church
-- He moved through the fair by The Planets
In the third/fourth line:
And me Father won't slight youthe last word should actually be kine, "a very ancient word for cattle," as Miriam wrote, "which was of course a status symbol in Ireland at the time the song as written." All versions of the lyrics I have seend have kind, though, and listening to what is sung, I hear also kind (though not always it is very clear).
For your lack of kind
In the second stanza, Miriam wrote, the last four lines originally were:
Then she made her way homeward
lit by one star awake
As the swan in the evening sun
moves over the lake.
Many people think that this song is traditional but actually the words are by the Irish poet Padraic Colum set to a fine myxolydian melody based by the collector/arranger Herbert Hughes on a traditional Gaelic air - hence the confusion.Gordon Potts also wrote that the words are by Padraic Colum, and points to the Wikipedia-page on Padraic Colum. There I read:
Padraic Colum (8 December 1881 11 January 1972) was an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer and collector of folklore. He was one of the leading figures of the Celtic Revival.Gordon Potts added that the collected song was called "Her Wedding Day" and that Colum and Hughes used the tune from this song with words by Colum to make She Moved Through the Fair, which was published by Boosey. Colum wrote that he used one line from the traditional song ("Her feet made no din"; last stanza) and made up the rest himself.
He also collected Irish folk songs, including the famous She Moved Through the Fair, for which Colum wrote most of the words, with the musicologist Herbert Hughes.
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