Tomorrow Is A Long Time

Tomorrow Is A Long Time

Original melody, no known precursor.

As is widely known (see f. ex. Heylin, p. 87) the refrain refers to an ancient song: "Westron Wynde".

    Westron wynde, when wilt thou blow,
    The small raine down can raine.
    Cryst, if my love were in my armes
    And I in my bedde again!

It first appears in a manuscript from ca. 1530 (British Museum Royal Appendix 56) but it could be a relic of an older song. The words and the original melody were reprinted for example in Ritson/Frank, Ancient Songs And Ballads, From The Reign Of King Henry The Second To The Revolution, Vol. 1 (1829), p. lxxvi/vii and in William Chappell's very influential Popular Music Of The Olden Time (1853 & 1859), p. 57/58.

The lyrics found their way into the Oxford Book Of English Verse (as "The Lover In Winter Plaineth For The Spring", here from 1901) and the song was also well known among Folk Revivalists. Richard Dyer Bennett recorded it in 1947 as a single (as "Westryn Wynde", reissued in 1958 on No. 5: Requests, now available on Folkways SFW 40143). It was also recorded by both Cynthia Gooding and Ed McCurdy in 1956 and Alfred Deller in 1958 (see the discography at Folk Music - An Index to Recorded Resources)

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