The Trees They Grow High

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is a simple instrumental version of this English folk ballad, also known as "Long-A-Growing" and various other variants. The version I used is based on this one:

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

  2. Frithjof
    Oh, that’s a sad ballade but very well performed.
  3. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
    Nice! I've heard Altan's version of this, "Daily Growing."
  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Mike and Frithjof. I think what makes it so sad is that until the very last line it seems to be heading for a happy end after the narrator's initial unhappiness with the match made for her. The age of the boy varies quite a lot between versions -- the earliest has him rather disturbingly as a husband at 12, a father at 13 and dead at 14. I think the first version I heard was Steeleye Span ("Long-A-Growing"), quickly followed by Martin Carthy and then Joan Baez.

  5. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Really sad. but very full of atmosphere, nicely played, Martin.
    And thanks for the link to, there are some songs I could try an octave higher.
  6. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Sad but beautiful. Wonderful playing.
  7. Gelsenbury
    This must be one of the saddest songs in existence. Listening to it would be almost unbearable if the melody weren't so beautiful. I've heard many versions of this by professional and amateur players, probably all inspired by the Steeleye Span version. Peter Knight plays it to this day, with his new band.
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