On Poetry and Culture Shock

Irish and sour

This anonymous Irish song may be more properly attributed to a colective of women than yesterday's choice, which was a bit of a joke. I know versions sung by Marianne Faithful, The Corrs, Sinéad O'Connor, Kate Rusby, and Lizzie Higgings. Each version changes the title; to me it's either Wish I Was or Love is Teasing. Each version is different, extracting here or expanding there. This is my own version; I haven't changed much, I'm just taking the bits I like from everyone else's.

I wish I was, I wish in vain,
I wish I was a maid again
But a maid again I can never be
Until oak was to grow up an ivy tree.

For love is teasin’, and love is pleasin’,
And love is a treasure when first it’s new
But as love grows older, then love grows colder,
And it fades away like the morning dew.

There is an alehouse on yonder town
Where my love goes and there sits down,
He takes a strange girl on his knee
Well now, don’t you think that vexes me?

There is a blackbird on yonder tree,
Some say it’s blind and it cannot see.
I wish it was the same with me,
And then of love I would be free.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I was a maid again
But a maid again I'll never be
Until oak was grown up an ivy tree.


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