Searching for Lambs


traditional English words
SATTB, a cappella
Published by Fresh Ayre Music

I became aware of this exotic-sounding folk song through the singing of Maddy Prior and the group Steeleye Span. The opening lyric formula “As I walked out…” is a familiar one in English ballads, comparable to the story-teller’s “Once upon a time…” to draw the listener into the action. As is also common to the style, the voice of the singer changes from narrative to dialogue as the action progresses, so that the listener becomes an observer to the scene as it unfolds.

In this arrangement, the purely narrative voice is taken by an unaccompanied soloist in free meter. Tempo is established as the dialogue begins, and the heartbeat and harmonic color of the ensemble is designed to portray the flush of new love and the moment when time stands still.

Perusal Score (click to view)

SKU: FAD-1012-01 Categories: ,


1. As I walked out one May morning, one May morning betime
I met a maid from home had strayed just as the sun did shine

2. ‘What makes you rise so soon, my dear, your journey to pursue?’
‘Your pretty little feet they tread so neat, strike off the morning dew’.

3. ‘I’m going to feed my father’s flocks, his young and tender lambs’
‘That over hills and over dales lie waiting for their dams’

4. ‘O stay, o stay, you handsome maid, and rest a moment here’
‘For there is none that you alone that I do love so dear’.

5. ‘How gloriously the sun doth shine, how pleasant is the air’
‘I’d rather rest on a true love’s breast than any other where’

6. ‘For I am thine and thou art mine, no man shall uncomfort me’
‘We’ll join our hands in wedded bands and married we shall be’.


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