Tune of the Day: The Ash Grove
This is a traditional Welsh folk song, whose melody has been set to numerous sets of lyrics. The most well-known was written, in English, by John Oxenford in the 19th century.
The first published version of the tune was in a 1802 harp book. About 4 years later a version with words appeared, under the name “Llwyn Onn”, telling of a sailor's love for “Gwen of Llwyn”. The tune might be much older, as a similar tune appears in “The Beggar's Opera” by John Gay (1728), in the song “Cease Your Funning”.
The tune of “The Ash Grove” is used for the hymn “Let All Things Now Living” composed in 1939 by Katherine K. Davis. Around 1962 another song called “The Irish Free State” was written to this tune. Last but not least, “The Ash Grove” also featured in the 1980 BBC mini-series Pride and Prejudice.