Roses of Picardy

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"'Roses of Picardy' was an enormous international hit after World War I, and one of the greatest melodies to emerge from that horror. While actually English, it was hugely popular in the United States, and sung in concert and on recordings by everyone from John McCormack and Richard Crooks to John Charles Thomas."

--Thomas Hampson, from the liner notes of Song of America: Music From the Library of Congress (2005)

Roses of Picardy
Music: Haydn Wood (1882-1959)
Text: Frederick E. Weatherley (1848-1929)


She is watching by the poplars,
Colinette with the sea-blue eyes,
She is watching and longing, and waiting
Where the long white roadway lies,
And a song stirs in the silence,
As the wind in the boughs above,
She listens and starts and trembles,
‘Tis the first little song of love.
Roses are shining in Picardy,
In the hush of the silver dew,
Roses are flow’ring in Picardy,
But there’s never a rose like you!
And the roses will die with the summertime,
And our roads may be far apart,
But there’s one rose that dies not in Picardy,
‘Tis the rose that I keep in my heart.


And the years fly on forever,
Till the shadows veil their skies,
But he loves to hold her little hands,
And look into her sea-blue eyes,
And she sees the road by the poplars,
Where they met in the bygone years,
For the first little song of the roses,
Is the last little song she hears:


Roses are shining in Picardy,
In the hush of the silver dew,
Roses are flow’ring in Picardy,
But there’s never a rose like you!
And the roses will die with the summertime,
And our roads may be far apart,
But there’s one rose that dies not in Picardy,
‘Tis the rose that I keep in my heart.


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