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|The earliest printed version of the ballad appears in Ravenscroft's Deuteromelia (1609) as The Overcurteous Knight. It also appears in Thomas D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy, V, 112 (1719), The Pepys Ballads, the Roxburghe Ballads and Herd's Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs (1776).
This version of Blow Away the Morning Dew is from Cecil Sharpe's collection. It is a shortened English variation of Child Ballad #112 (The Baffled Knight).
For a complete list of Child Ballads at this site go to Francis J. Child Ballads.
Other Scottish variants include Jock Sheep and The Abashed Knight. Child has six variants including The Lady's Policy, The Shepherd's Son, Blow the Winds, Heigh ho! and The Knight and the Lady. There are Portuguese, Italian, German, French and Spanish versions of the tune. One version of the tune was used as a capstan shanty.
Although the ballad appeared earlier it regained popularity at the end of the seventeenth century when it was embellished and verses were added.
There was a farmer's son,
Kept sheep all on the hill;
And he walk'd out one May morning
To see what he could kill.
And sing blow away the morning dew
The dew, and the dew.
Blow away the morning dew,
How sweet the winds do blow.
He looked high, he looked low,
He cast an under look;
And there he saw a fair pretty maid
Beside the wat'ry brook.
Cast over me my mantle fair
And pin it o'er my gown;
And, if you will, take hold my hand,
And I will be your own.
If you come down to my father's house
Which is walled all around,
And, you shall have a kiss from me
And twenty thousand pound.
He mounted on a milk white steed
And she upon another;
And then they rode along the lane
Like sister and like brother.
As they were riding on alone,
They saw some pooks of hay.
O is not this a very pretty place
For girls and boys to play?
But when they came to her father's gate,
So nimble she popped in:
And said: There is a fool without
And here's a maid within.
We have a flower in our garden,
We call it Marigold:
And if you will not when you may,
You shall not when you wolde.
Folk-Songs, Chanteys and Singing Games and
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
See Bibliography for full information.