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Monday, April 18, 2011

AURA LEA

I don't think there's anyone in America who isn't familiar with the Elvis
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  

1 comment:

Heather Rojo said...

I have the tune to this in one of my folk music books of sheet music. It gives the words you just gave, as well as the Elvis words. Many pop songs are based on old tunes. Look at Simon and Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" and the Irish pub song "Danny Boy" which is actually and older tune called "Londonderry Aire". By the way, I love those "Sing Along with Mitch" records!