One morning, one morning, one morning in May,
I spied a young couple, they were making their way.
One was a maiden so bright and so fair and the other was a soldier and a brave volunteer.
Good morning, good morning, good morning said he,
and where are you going my pretty lady?
I'm going out a-walking on the banks of the sea
just to see the water's glide and hear the nightingale sing.
Now they had not been standing but a minute or two
when out of his knapsack a fiddle he drew
and the tune that he played made the valleys all ring,
oh hark, cried the maiden, hear the nightingale sing.
Oh maiden, fair maiden, 'tis time to give o'er.
Oh no, kind soldier, please play one tune more
for I'd rather hear your fiddle at the touch of one string
than to see the waters glide and hear the nightingale sing.
Oh soldier, kind soldier, will you marry me? Oh no, pretty maiden, that never shall be.
I've a wife down in London and children twice three,
two wives and the army's too many for me.
Well, I'll go back to London and I'll stay there for a year,
it's often that I'll think of you, my little dear.
And if ever I return it will be in the spring
just to see the waters glide and hear the nightingale sing.
To see the waters glide and hear the nightingale sing.