Kissing Tree Lane - I Wish

from by Kerr Fagan Harbron

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about

Kissing Tree Lane [Robert Harbron]
I Wish [Trad., new words & music by Nancy Kerr]
In the village of Alveston, Warwickshire, is a street called
‘Kissing Tree Lane’, the name of which set Rob’s imagination running wild. Wronged lovers recurrently begin their songs: “I wish I wish but it’s all in vain…”, and playing around with ‘Kissing Tree Lane’ at Station House brought
to mind a related lament known as My True Love Once, learned from Nancy’s mum Sandra. Singers Mary Ann Haynes’ and Cecilia Costello’s versions, in particular, feature the fruit-tree imagery expanded upon here. Scrumping as a metaphor for courtship?

lyrics

I Wish [Nancy Kerr]
I wish I wish but all in vain
I wish I had my heart again
My heart again no man should tease
Till apples grow on orange trees

My true love once he courted me
He stole the fruit from my apple tree
And stole my heart and free good will
I must confess I love him still

I wish I wish but all in vain
I wish I had my heart again
My heart again no man should heed
Till oranges grow from appleseed

All souls a warning take by me
And never climb another tree
And take no other on your knee
But keep your true love company

I wish I wish but all in vain
I wish I had my heart again
My heart again no man should steal
Till apples grow inside orange peel

Once I was both young and free
And green leaves grew at my head and feet
But now my back does bend and bow
I think my apples sweeter now

credits

from Station House, released April 1, 2008
Kissing Tree Lane [Robert Harbron]
I Wish [trad, new words and music Nancy Kerr]

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