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W B Yeats

Ironically, considering it was written by a an excellent poet related to by many as a literary genius, the song is among the simplest you will find anywhere in the ireland music repertoire.

You are watching: Down by the salley gardens analysis

It’s a sort of lament by a young guy who meets a beautiful girl in the Salley Gardens yet then loser her, presumably for failing to expropriate what she needs to say. She urges him to “take love easy, as the leaves prosper on the tree”.

However, the “was young and also foolish and also with her did no agree”. It every ends in tears. We room not called why however the presumption is that he do the efforts to move too fast and also so frightened she away.

Yeats was trying to recreate an old Irish folk song

Yeats released the city in his collection, The Wanderings of Oisin and also Other Poems in 1889. In a keep in mind on the poem, he stated that he was trying to reconstruct an old tune he had actually heard being sung by a mrs in the village of Ballisodare in Sligo.

He might only remember a couple of lines yet acknowledged his blame to the initial version by call his brand-new poem, one Old tune Re-sung. It was only changed to the Salley Gardens as soon as it was published again in 1895 in his collection, Poems.


The Rambling guys of Pleasure

The tune that Yeats heard the old woman singing was nearly certainly the old ireland tune, girlfriend Rambling guys of Pleasure. Its second verse includes the lines:

It was down by Sally’s Garden one evening late i took my way

I spied this pretty same maid and also these words come me she go say

She claimed to take love easy as the leaves thrived on the tree

But ns was young and also foolish and also with my darling can not agree.

The words are very similar to under by the Salley Gardens and also it seems safe to assume the You Rambling boys of Pleasure to be the tune Yeats heard being sung by the old woman.

Yeats keeps the lyrics really simple

You Rambling boys of pleasure is longer and more facility than Yeats’ version. It refers to the young woman changing her mind around the relationship and money is claimed to play a part.

Down by the Salley Gardens gives no details reason because that the fail of the relationship, and the result may be stronger as we room left to consist of our very own minds.

The melody for down by the Salley Gardens

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Benjamin Britten

Down by the Salley Gardens was created as a poem and remained that method until 1909 when Herbert Hughes collection it come music making use of the old ireland melody, The Maids of Mourne Shore.

Other composers including Rebecca Clarke, john Ireland and Benjamin Britten also set the words come music.

But that the initial version, The Maids of Mourne, that most human being still associate v the poem.

What is a salley garden?

Salley or sally originates from the Gaelic word saileach which means willow. The Salley Gardens because of this simply way willow gardens.

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Slender shooting of pasture were offered to tie thatched roofs and so the was usual to find tiny willow plantations near to villages in Ireland. And also providing willow shoots for thatching, they double up as a meeting location for young lovers.