“Aura Lea”

Author: Words: W. W. Fosdick / Music: George R. Poulten
Earliest date: 1861
Keywords: courting love nonballad lyric
Found in: US

Description

"When the blackbird in the spring On the willow tree Sat and rock'd, I heard him sing, Singing Aura Lee." In praise of a "maid of golden hair." The singer describes how even the bird praise her. He begs her hand in marriage

Supplemental text

Aura Lea
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From sheet music published by J. Church. The sheet music shows
no copyright date, but copyright records indicate a date of 1861.
Title page inscribed
                  TO
           S. C. Campbell, Esq.
      of Hooley & Campbell's Minstrels
                Aura Lea
              SONG & CHORUS
                Poetry by
            W. W. FOSDICK ESQ.
                 Music by
              GEO.R.POULTON

When the Blackbird in the Spring,
  On the willow tree
Sat and rock'd, I heard him sing,
  Singing Aura Lea.
Aura Lea, Aura Lea,
  Maid of golden hair;
Sunshine came along with thee,
  And swallows in the air.

  Aura Lea, Aura Lea,
    Maid of golden hair;
  Sunshine came along with thee,
    And swallows in the air.

   SECOND VERSE

In thy blush the rose was born,
  Music, when you spake,
Through thine azure eyes the morn,
  Sparkling, seemed to break.
Aura Lea, Aura Lea,
  Birds of crimson wing
Never song have sung to me
  As in that sweet spring.
 CHORUS. Aura Lea, Aura Lea,
           Maid of golden hair;
         Sunshine came along with thee,
           And swallows in the air.

   THIRD VERSE

Aura Lea! the bird may flee,
  The willow's golden hair
Swing through winter fitfully,
  On the stormy air.
Yet if thy blue eyes I see,
  Gloom will soon depart;
For to me, sweet Aura Lea
  Is sunshine through the heart.
 CHORUS. Aura Lea, &c.

   FOURTH VERSE

When the mistletoe was green,
  Midst the winter's snows,
Sunshine in thy face was seen,
  Kissing lips of rose.
Aura Lea, Aura Lea,
  Take my golden ring;
Love and light return with thee,
  And swallows with the spring.

Notes

At times like this, one wishes we had a keyword, "Great-tune-lousy-words."

Originally published as a minstrel tune in 1861, verses were printed by both Union and Confederate presses, and the first important parody ("Army Blue") was used by the West Point class of 1865.

As for what Elvis Presley did with the tune, the less we say of that here, the better. - RBW

References

  1. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 14-17, "Aura Lea" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Fuld-WFM, p. 117, "Aura Lea--(Love Me Tender)"
  3. DT, AURALEE*
  4. ST RJ19014 (Full)
  5. BI, RJ19014