Presley recording of "Love Me Tender". But few people realize the
music is borrowed from a song popular during the Civil War, "Aura Lea"
(sometimes called "Aura Lee"). I don't recall when I first heard this or
where. Perhaps on one of Mom's "Sing Along With Mitch" albums,
although I seem to recall seeing a movie where soldiers were singing it
around a campfire. Anyway, here's the words to it:
When the blackbird in the spring, on the willow tree, Sat and rocked, I heard him sing, singing Aura Lea Aura Lea, Aura Lea, maid of golden hair; Sunshine came along with thee, and swallows in the air. Chorus: Aura Lea, Aura Lea, maid of golden hair; Sunshine came along with thee, and swallows in the air. In thy blush the rose was born, music when you spake, Through thine azure eye the morn, sparkling seemed to break. Aura Lea, Aura Lea, bird of crimson wing, Never song have sung to me, as in that sweet spring. Chorus Aura Lea! The bird may flee, the willow's golden hair Swing through winter fitfully, on the stormy air. Yet if thy blue eyes I see, gloom will soon depart; For to me, sweet Aura Lea is sunshine through the heart. Chorus When the mistletoe was green, midst the winter's snows, Sunshine in thy face was seen, kissing lips of rose. Aura Lea, Aura Lea, take my golden ring; Love and light return with thee, and swallows with the spring.
W.W. Fosdick(words)&Music by G.R. Poulton