The Ash Grove waltz

Also known as The Ashgrove, Beauty In Tears, Llewellyn, Llwyn Onn, The Master Hath Come, Oh Weep Not Sweet Maid, Nor Let Sorrow Oppress Thee, Sir Watkin William Wynn, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, They Suffer The Wretched To Languish And Perish.

There are 23 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Ash Grove appears in 2 other tune collections.

The Ash Grove has been added to 17 tune sets.

The Ash Grove has been added to 334 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: The Ash Grove
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:"A"A2|"D"d2f2ag|"D"f2d2d2|"G"e2 gfed|"A"c2A2A2|
"Bm"f2e2d2|"A"c2a2"E"^g2|"A"a4 A2|"D"d2f2ag|f2d2d2|
X: 2
T: The Ash Grove
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
"Bm"fed|"A"ca"E"^g|"A"a2 A|"D"dfa/g/|"D"fdd|
X: 3
T: The Ash Grove
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G2 B2 d2|B2 G2 B2|A2 c2 A2|F2 D2 D2|
G2 BG G2|E2 C2 E2|D2 G2 F2|G2 z2:|
G2 B2 d2|d2 c2 B2|A2 c2 c2|c2 B2 A2|
G2 B2 B2|B2 A2 G2|F2 d2 ^c2|d2 z2 D2|
G2 B2 d2|B2 G2 B2|A2 c2 A2|F2 D2 D2|
G2 BG G2|E2 C2 E2|D2 G2 F2|G2 z2||
X: 4
T: The Ash Grove
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
(G B) .d|(B G) .B|(A/B/) (c/A/) (B/G/)|A F D|
”tr”G/>A/ B/>G/ A/>F/|(G E) C|D G F|G2:|
.G (B d)|(g d) .B|(A/B/) (c/d/) (e/^d/)|(e c) .A|
(G/A/) .B/.c/ .d/.e/|(d B) .G|A d ”tr”^c|d2 B/=c/|
(d g) .d|(B G) .B|(A/B/) (c/A/) (B/G/)|(A F) .D|
”tr”G/>A/ B/>G/ A/>F/|(G E) .C|D G F|G2:|
G2 B2 d2|B2 G2 B2|AB cA BG|A2 F2 D2|
G>A B>G A>F|G2 E2 C2|D2 G2 F2|G4:|
G2 B2 d2|g2 d2 B2|AB cd e^d|e2 c2 A2|
GA Bc de|d2 B2 G2|A2 d2 ^c2|d4 B=c|
d2 g2 d2|B2 G2 B2|AB cA BG|A2 F2 D2|
G>A B>G A>F|G2 E2 C2|D2 G2 F2|G4:|
X: 5
T: The Ash Grove
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G2 B2 d2|B2 G2 B2|AB cA BG|A2 F2 D2|
G2 BG AF|G2 E2 [C2c2]|D2 E2 F2|G4:|
G2 B2 d2|g2 d2 B2|AB cd ef|e2 c2 A2|
GA Bc de|d2 B2 G2|A2 d2 ^c2|d3 c BA|
B2 gd gd|B2 G2 G2|AB cA BG|A2 F2 D2|
GA BG AF|G2 E2 [C2c2]|D2 E2 F2|G4:|
X: 6
T: The Ash Grove
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:D2|G2 B2 dc|B2 G2 G2|A2 cBAG|F2 D2 D2|
G2 BA GF|E2 C2 E2|D2 G2 F2|G4:|
Bc|d2 Bcde|d2 c2 B2|c2 AB cd|c2 B2 A2|B2 GABc|
B2 A2 G2|F2 d2 ^c2|d4 D2|G2 B2 dc|B2 G2 G2|
A2 cBAG|F2 D2 D2|G2 BAGF|E2 C2 E2|D2 G2 F2|G4||

Thirty-two comments

Ash Grove

We sang this in church today, and can’t get the melody out of me head, so here goes.

I’d normally notate like this (using 1/4 as base instead of 1/8):

T:Ash Grove
|: "A"A | "D"dfa/g/ | "D"fdd | "G"eg/f/e/d/ | "A"cAA |
"D"df/e/d/c/ | "G"BGB | "D"Ad"A"c | "D"d2 :||: e//f//g/ |
"D"af/g/a/b/ | "D"agf | "A"ge/f/g/a/ | "A7"gfe | "D"fd/e/f/g/ |
"Bm"fed | "A"ca"E"^g | "A"a2 A | "D"dfa/g/ | "D"fdd |
"G"eg/f/e/d/ | "A"cAA | "D"df/e/d/c/ | "G"BGB | "D"Ad"A7"c | "D"d2 :||

This is supposedly a Welsh tune. The "Fiddler’s Companion" confirms:

I believe it shows up in O’Carolan’s repertoire too.

I think this is a nice lively waltz, that can take a fair amount of ornamentation without losing its character.


Unfortunately in England tune is used for ribald Rugby club verses
-the oppposite of church usage.

My mother has a little rhyme to the first part of the tune, which she picked up in the school playground in Liverpool:

My teacher is a bunion,
Her face is a pickled onion,
Her nose is a squashed tomato,
And her hair is barbed wire.

Never underestimate the importance of childrens rhymes in traditional music.

David, you call that bawdy lyrics? I’m sure the English can do much better! 🙂

Equine italian person

well,the version i know involves a ‘big’ italian fella and it’s far too rude to post here but a censored first line goes something like:
(please stop reading if these sort of things offend you)

there was an italian,with b**** like a f****** stallion
and the hairs on his ********* reached down to the floor…

…it continues in similar fashion.if you want to know the rest,ask a rugby player.
by the way,i always thought this was an english tune but that’s probably because we used to sing it at school. not the above version,of course!

Well, Glauber, my mother grew up in a rather middle-class suburb of Liverpool, and it was the 1940s. What’s more, if she did know a less genteel version of the song, she’d hardly teach it to her son, would she?

Definitely a Welsh tune. My Welsh grandmother used to sing it to me in Welsh when I was a child, but I’m blowed if I can remember any of the words after all these years. If I can track them down I’ll post them. Incidentally, any Welsh version should be "clean". Welsh apparently has no native swear words; about the worst thing you can call someone in Welsh is "mochyn", meaning "pig", possibly with the addition of the Welsh word for "dung". If you hear a Welsh person using swear words while speaking Welsh the chances are that they are words imported from the English.


There are numerous Welsh versions; I don’t now know which one my Welsh grandmother sang, so of several I’ve chosen this one ("Llwyn Onn" - "llwyn" means "grove", and "onn" means "ash tree")

Yn Nyffryn Llwyn Onn draw mi welais hardd feinwen
A minnau’n hamddena ‘rol byw ar y don;
Gwyn ewyn y lli oedd ei gwisg, a disgleirwen
A’r glasfor oedd llygaid Gwen harddaf Llwyn Onn.
A ninnau’n rhodiana drwy’r lonydd i’r banna,
Sibrydem i’n gilydd gyfrinach byd serch;
A phan ddaeth hi’n adeg ffarwelio a’r wiwdeg,
Roedd tannau fy nghalon yng ngofal y ferch.

Cyn dychwel i borthladd wynebwn y tonnau,
Ond hyfryd yw’r hafan ‘rol dicter y don;
Bydd melys anghofio her greulon y creigiau—
Un felly o’wn innau ‘rol cyrraedd Llwyn Onn.
A thawel mordwyo wnaf mwyach a Gwenno
Yn llong fach ein bwthyn a hi wrth y llyw;
A hon fydd yr hafan ddiogel a chryno
I’r morwr a’i Wenno tra byddwn ni byw.

For further detailed information about this tune and many different sets of lyrics in English and Welsh go to, which is dedicated to this tune. On gurman’s site you will also find the "Mayor of Bayswater’s Daughter" version which Jeremy would most certainly not allow on!


I’ve always liked this tune; it’s one of the most beautiful tunes I’ve heard. It has a very sad sort of sound to it.


Turlough O’Carolan

Accually, Carolan was the orriginal composer of a song called "Beauty in Tears." someone took this peice and changed it up a whole lot and put lyrics to it and called it "The Ash Grove." It makes me angry to think that Carolan basicly created this peice but got zip credit. grrrrrr

Also sung as a hymn

Very lovely tune! This is also a hymn called ‘The Master Hath Come’. Here are the verses:

The Master hath come, and he calls us to follow
The trach of the footprints He leaves on our way;
Far over the mountain and through the deep hollow,
The path leads us on to the mansions of day:
The Master hath called us, the children who fear him,
Who march ‘neath Christ’s banner, His own little band;
We love Him and seek Him, we long to be near him,
And rest inthe light of His beautiful land.

The Master hath called us; the road may be dreary,
And dangerous and sorrows strewn on the track;
But God’s Holy Spirit shall comfort the weary;
We follow the Saviour and can not turn back;
The Master hath called us: though doubt and temptation
May compass our journey, we cheerfully sing:
"Press onward, look upward," thro’ much tribulation;
The children of Zion must follow thier King.

The Master hath called us, in life’s early morning,
With spirits as fresh as the dew on the sod:
We turn from the world, with its smiles and its scorning,
To cast in our lot with the people of God:
The Master hath called us, His sons and His daughters,
We plead for his blessing and trust in His love;
And through the green pastures, beside the still waters,
He’ll lead us at last to His kingdom above.


Carolan gets the credit for this tune in O’Neills collection.

The words I know include the lines

"One black one one white one
And one with a bit of Sh*** on
And the hairs on her Dicky Dido
Hung down to her knee "

😏 Carolan ~ as if…

It wouldn’t be the only thing that was screwed up in that honoured collection. They were only human and we all make mistakes…

"The Ash Grove" ~ courtesy of ‘The Fiddler’s Companion’

ASH GROVE (Llwyn Onn). AKA - "Ashtree Grove"?? AKA and see “Llewellyn,” "Sir Watkin William Wynn." Welsh (originally), Scottish, New England; Waltz. C Major (Laufman): G Major (Johnson). Standard tuning. AB (Kerr): AAB (Johnson, Laufman). The air is considered by some to be an early 18th century melody from Wales, perhaps because it is attributed to that country in Gow’s Strathspey Reels (book 4, pg. 24), where it appears as "Sir Watkin William Wynn." In fact the earliest Welsh printing is not until Jones’s Bardic Museum (1802), where it is given that it was named after ‘Mr. Jones’s mansion near Wrexham’. Robin Huw Bowen says it is played in the form ‘theme and variations’, a form poular with Welsh harpists of the early 18th century. It appears under different guises in period publications and can be found in Gay’s Beggar’s Opera (1729) and in the repertoire of Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738). “The Ash Grove” was used as a vehicle for English morris dancing, and various words were set to it, bawdy and otherwise.

Kerr (Merry Melodies), vol. 3; No. 309, pg. 33.

T: Llewellyn
S: O’Farrell – Pocket Companion, vol. III (c. 1808)
O’Farrell says: “A favorite Welch Air.” O’Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. III), c. 1808; pg. 33.

SIR WATKIN WILLIAM WYNN. AKA and see “The Ash Grove.” Welsh, Scottish; Air (3/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning. AABBCC. "A Welch (sic) air” {Gow}. The melody is familiar under the title “The Ash Grove.” Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn (1772-1840), 5th Baronet of Wynnstay (near Ruabon, Debingshire), was a north Welsh gentleman and land proprietor who raised a troop of cavalry that saw service in Ireland during the Rising of 1798. The troop, called the Ancient Britons fencible cavalry, “were at all times prominently conspicuous for the rigorous execution of any orders for devastation, destruction, or extermination. They were marked for it by the rebels, and in the course of the rebellion they were cut to pieces almost to a man” (Mitchel & Mac-Georghegan, History of Ireland: From the Treaty of Limerick to the Present, 1869). The regiment was disbanded in April, 1800. He was Member of Parliament twice and appointed Lord Lieutenant of Merionethshire from 1793-1830. In March, 1814, Sir Watkin went to France as Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of a Provisional Battalion of Militia composed of men from the Denbigh, Derby, Hereford, Westmoreland and 2nd West York Militia. Unfortunately, when they disembarked they found that hostilities had already ceased and Napoleon defeated. Mortified, they reported consumed copious amounts of drink. Carlin (Gow Collection), 1986; No. 558. Gow (Fourth Collection of Niel Gow’s Strathspey Reels), 2nd edition, originally 1800; pg. 24 (of both 1st and 2nd editions).

"The Ash Grove" / "Llewellyn" / "Sir Watkin William Wynn" ~

The original transcription given here by glauber is note for note and chord for chord identical to the one given in "The Fiddler’s Companion, a link to that given above… I’ll add some other transcriptions for comparison and dating… 😉 I’ll check also look to see if I have a transcript with regards to Turlough O’Carolan…

"The Ash Grove" ~ Kerr, 1880s

X: 2
T: Ash Grove, The
B: "Kerr’s Third Collection of Merry Melodies", vol. 3, 1880s, page 33, tune #309
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: waltz
K: GMaj
|: D2 |\
G2 B2 d2 | B2 G2 B2 | A2 c2 A2 | F2 D2 D2 |
G2 BG G2 | E2 C2 E2 | D2 G2 F2 | G2 z2 :|
D2 |\
G2 B2 d2 | d2 c2 B2 | A2 c2 c2 | c2 B2 A2 |
G2 B2 B2 | B2 A2 G2 | F2 d2 ^c2 | d2 z2 D2 |
G2 B2 d2 | B2 G2 B2 | A2 c2 A2 | F2 D2 D2 |
G2 BG G2 | E2 C2 E2 | D2 G2 F2 | G2 z2 |]

"Sir Watkin William Wynn" ~ Gow, 1800?

X: 3
T: Sir Watkin William Wynn
B: "The Fourth Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels", 1800
N: ”Slowish”
M: 3/8
L: 1/8
R: air
K: GMaj
|: D |\
(G B) .d | (B G) .B | (A/B/) (c/A/) (B/G/) | A F D |
”tr”G/>A/ B/>G/ A/>F/ | (G E) C | D G F | G2 :|
|: D |\
.G (B d) | (g d) .B | (A/B/) (c/d/) (e/^d/) | (e c) .A |
(G/A/) .B/.c/ .d/.e/ | (d B) .G | A d ”tr”^c | d2 B/=c/ |
(d g) .d | (B G) .B | (A/B/) (c/A/) (B/G/) | (A F) .D |
”tr”G/>A/ B/>G/ A/>F/ | (G E) .C | D G F | G2 :|

X: 3
T: Sir Watkin William Wynn
B: Gow – Fourth Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels 1800
N: from 3/8 to 3/4 with some simplification
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: air
K: GMaj
|: D2 |\
G2 B2 d2 | B2 G2 B2 | AB cA BG | A2 F2 D2 |
G>A B>G A>F | G2 E2 C2 | D2 G2 F2 | G4 :|
|: D2 |\
G2 B2 d2 | g2 d2 B2 | AB cd e^d | e2 c2 A2 |
GA Bc de | d2 B2 G2 | A2 d2 ^c2 | d4 B=c |
d2 g2 d2 | B2 G2 B2 | AB cA BG | A2 F2 D2 |
G>A B>G A>F | G2 E2 C2 | D2 G2 F2 | G4 :|

From the notes for the tune "Merch Megan" ~ with reference to ‘Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn’ ~

John “Blind” Parry -, Parry (Parri Ddall, or Blind Parry) was born in about 1710 on Pen Lion, Gaernafonshire, Wales, blind from birth, and as a child found a patron in the Griffiths family who initially gave him a Welsh triple harp and support for mastering it. He later became harpist to Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn at Wynnstay, Ruabon, and where he perfected his baroque composing. Willams-Lynn periodically brought him to his residence in London bringing his music and playing to a wider audience. In fact, his harping was admired by George Frederich Handel (who resided in England as court composer to George II), and Parry played the great composer’s Concerto in B flat at Hickford’s Great Room in Brewer Street, Soho. Parry died in 1782. Edward Jones, Harpist Laureate to George IV, included it in his book The Bardic Museum (1802) under the title “Wyres Megan.”

"A Cambrian Melody"

Interesting that O’Sullivan says that he "sifted through" the O’Neill attributions of tunes to Carolan, and rejected those he thought doubtful. "Beauty in Tears" didn’t make it into O’Sullivan’s biography and collection of tunes.

I’m not really surprised, as O’Neill’s transcription of the tune, along with the title, matches that of a melody to a song composed by John Parry (Welsh), and composed around 1811, for the singer John Braham. It is certainly reviewed in "The Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions and politics Volume 10, published in 1813, by Rudolph Ackermann:

[Beauty in Tears, a Ballad, sung by
Mr. Braham, in the Grand Romance of Lodoiska, written and
arranged by John Parry. Pr.
A neat trifle, of simple melody
and plain harmony… ]

You can see the score for the tune here:

Parry calls it "a Cambrian melody", and I’m inclined to go along with that.

Carolan, my airse.

"Llewellyn, a Favorite Welch Air" ~ O’Farrell, 1808

X: 4
T: Llewellyn
S: O’Farrell’s Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, vol. III, 1808
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: air
K: GMaj
D |\
GBd BGB | A/B/c/A/B/G/ AFD |\
GB/G/A/F/ GE[Cc] | DEF G2 :|
|: D |\
GBd gdB | A/B/c/d/e/f/ ecA |\
G/A/B/c/d/e/ dBG | Ad^c d>cB/A/ |
Bg/d/g/d/ BGG | A/B/c/A/B/G/ AFD |\
G/A/B/G/A/F/ GE[Cc] | DEF G2 :|

X: 4
T: Llewellyn, a Favorite Welch Air
S: O’Farrell’s Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, vol. III, 1808
N: Changed from 6/8 to 3/4
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: air
K: GMaj
|: D2 |\
G2 B2 d2 | B2 G2 B2 | AB cA BG | A2 F2 D2 |
G2 BG AF | G2 E2 [C2c2] | D2 E2 F2 | G4 :|
|: D2 |\
G2 B2 d2 | g2 d2 B2 | AB cd ef | e2 c2 A2 |
GA Bc de | d2 B2 G2 | A2 d2 ^c2 | d3 c BA |
B2 gd gd | B2 G2 G2 | AB cA BG | A2 F2 D2 |
GA BG AF | G2 E2 [C2c2] | D2 E2 F2 | G4 :|

Thanks Weejie, no doubt well circulated at the time, and currently too…

I’ve lyrics too, a few, but a bit too raunchy for me to be adding them here ~ bawdy ballads…

John Parry Ddall ~ Wikipedia ~ & John Parry / Bardd Alaw (c.1710 – October 1782)

For those trying to follow Weejie’s link above to John Parry / Bardd Alaw (18 February 1776 – 8 April 1851), the live link doesn’t work because that final ‘)’, as is irritatingly often the case, doesn’t get picked up on the link. Best ot just cut and paste, being sure to pick up that last ‘round bracket’/parenthesis…

Don’t let anyone know, I’m an all time Marx Brothers fan…

Well, what do you expect, the tune itself is not exactly wild!
It sounds like a quieter version of that mad, frenzied one: We wish you a merry Christmas…

The Ash Grove, X:6

Setting as played at the Golden Guinea pub sesion, Bristol (UK).

[It’s only played if the session night happens to coincide with St. David’s Day (1st March) ]

Re: The Ash Grove

We knew it as Kitty of Coleraine and it is a ballad of Kitty spilling her pitcher of milk on her way back from the fair and is in floods of tears until Mr Handsome sits down beside her and gives her a kiss. And wusha, wouldn’t you know that in the last line there’s not a pitcher of milk to be found in all of Coleraine.

Re: The Ash Grove

Here’s Tommy Reck’s version on pipes with a tricky high second octave D.
X: 1
T: The Ash Grove
T: Tommy Reck
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: "A"A2 | "D"d2f2ag | "D"f2d2B2 | "G"efgfed | "A"fedcBA |
"D"d2fdec | "G"d2B2G2 | "D"A2B2c2 | "D"d4 :||: ABc |
"D"d2fabc’ | "D"d’2a2f2 | "A"ed efga | "A7"b2g2e2 | "D"dcd efg |
"Bm"a2f2d2 | "A"e2a2"E"^g2 | "A"a4 aa | "D"f2d2BB |
c2d2e2 |"G"efg fed | "A"fed cBA |
"D"d2fdec | "G"d2B2G2 | "D"A2B2c2| "D"d4 :||

Re: The Ash Grove

I first heard and learned "Ash Grove" approximately thirty or thirty-five years ago as a setting for a poem in "The Last Unicorn" by Peter Beagle. It is the poem which starts with the words: "When I was a young man and very well thought of, I couldn’t ask aught that the ladies denied." Shortly after I read "The Last Unicorn", I heard someone singing this poem to the tune of "Ash Grove" and that was how I learned this tune. A few years later, I heard "Ash Grove" being played for the dances at a local contra dance/folk dance group as well. I still like this tune and I still enjoy playing it.