Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – I Bring You A Branch Of May


~I’ve been awandering all the night, And the best part of the day. Now I’m returning home again. I bring you a branch of May.

~A branch of May, my love, I say As at your door I stand; It’s nothing but a sprout, but it’s well budded out By the work of the Lord’s own hand.

~My song is done and I must be gone, I can no longer stay; God bless you all, both great and small And send you a joyful May.

The perfect song for May don’t you think?

Tipper

Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

 

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Ethel
    May 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Ah, May! I am enjoying a vase of lilacs right now! Love the old pagan traditions, sad so many of them have been lost, though I understand that May Day was celebrated in this area in Victorian times. If you haven’t heard Mummer’s Dance (quoted above by Elizabeth K.), it is breath-takingly beautiful!

  • Reply
    Becky
    May 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Yes, I do and if I were near you I’d deliver a branch of May to your door.

  • Reply
    Ferne Kellow
    May 7, 2011 at 1:44 am

    When I was growing up out here in Oregon, it was the custom to make paper baskets and fill them with both wild and tame flowers on May Day. Then, we took them around to the neighbor’s and hung them on their door knobs. After that, we rang their bell or knocked and then ran away. Children were still following this custom when I was a young adult. However, as far as I know, no one does it any more. It’s a shame.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    May 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    May is such a beautiful month-what a perfect song to celebrate it!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    May 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Jim-thats exactly what the organge flowers are : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    May 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Elizabeth-Thank you for the comment-I love the words to the version youve heard. The version I used is the Kentucky version from the Ritchie Family of Perry County, KY.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Anastasia
    May 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    This song has brought back happy memories of my childhood. I can still picture myself collecting flowers from our garden and making May wreaths which we’d hang at the front door on May 1st as tradition has it in my part of the world. But for the last 20 years or so I’ve been suffering from hay fever and, as a result, I no longer make May wreaths.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    May 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Very fitting words for the time Tipper. Pretty wild flowers. We have a quarter acre “meadow” of purple and yellow flowers..the purples are like long trumpets and yellows are similar to stars… By the way hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  • Reply
    martina
    May 6, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Never heard that before, but it is beautiful. Here it would probably be a branch of lilac buds.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    May 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

    The photo reminds me of the flower chains I made and wore as a child.
    Loreena McKennitt sings a version of the verse you include, her own interpretation, on her CD, The Book of Secrets called The Mummer’s Dance:
    We’ve been rambling all the night
    and sometime of this day,
    Now returning back again,
    we bring a garland gay.
    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 hand.
    I have not seen the version you’ve included here, so now I’m on a hunt!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Tipper–As old Will Shakespeare said, “What is so rare as a day in May?” When flowers figure in the picture (or for that matter trout rising to a dry fly or bedding bream feeding egerly), so much the better. What are the orange flowers with the clover? My first thought was flame azalea, but the blooms don’t look large enough.
    Jim Casada
    http://www.jimcasadaoutdors.com

  • Reply
    Sandra
    May 6, 2011 at 8:36 am

    perfect, i sang it as as i danced around the maypole. ha ha if you believe the part about ME dancing.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 6, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Love the song, it is perfect. We used to take cuttings or bulbs when we went to visit. I am not sure it was May, but what a lovely tradition.
    May I wish everyone a Happy Mothers Day!
    Sheryl

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 6, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Tipper, isn’t it interesting how one picture can say so much!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    May 6, 2011 at 7:22 am

    B.-the song reminds me of the folk school-and the Mountain Folk Festival in Berea. This past festival-Mr.Ramsey told the story of how years ago-when they made the trip from Brasstown to Berea they would stop along the way and cut branches from red bud trees-so that they would have them to carry in the processional portion of the festival.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 6, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Hey Tipper,
    Love the picture…brings back so many memories…looping or plaiting clover stems….
    I wonder which branch of May the person brought to the door..could have been some type of tree..(sprout) or a shrub…and did the well budded branch of May get planted?
    The song reminds me of visiting relatives in the spring or summer exchanging plants. It was almost a tradition..In the spring just before leaving and after a walk around their yard.. new sprouts, cuttings, or pieces of plants would be shared for us to take home..usually we had brougnt a bulb or cutting of a plant as a gift to them as well…It’s a flower gardners thing! ha
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Samantha
    May 6, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Perfect! 🙂

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