All Around My Hat
Traditional

Audio clip

This example of "All Around My Hat" is performed by Andrew Scarhart
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Background notes

This song can be sung from the female or male perspective. The words vary slightly.

English Folk band Steeleye Span did a great (certainly noteworthy) recording of this song on their album "All Around My Hat" (1976, Chrysalis records).

In Folk Songs of Britain and Ireland, Peter Kennedy noted that this is "…perhaps one of the most popular of all English love songs.”

Kennedy goes on to explain the song: "A street hawker is lamenting that his girl friend, a London flower-seller, has been caught thieving and sentenced to transportation to Australia, ten thousand miles away. The refrain commemorates the time when true-lovers wore demonstrative tokens to indicate their pledges of faithfulness and chastity."
    Folk Songs of Britain and Ireland, ed. Peter Kennedy, pub. 1975 (See the recommended songbook list for more info)

Male perspective

Guitar chords:
chorus:
C F
C F
F C F C
C F G C
verse:
C F
C F
F C F C
C F G C
Chorus
All around my hat, I will wear the green willow,
And all around my hat, for a twelve-month and a day.
And if anyone should ask me the reason why I'm wearin' it,
It's all for my true love who's far, far, away

Fare thee well cold winter, and fare thee well cold frost.
For nothing I have gained, but my own true love have lost.
So sing and I'll be merry, when occasion I do see-
She's a false deluded lover, let her go, fare well she.

Chorus...

The other day I brought her a fine golden ring:
I asked her to marry, but oh what an awful thing.
I thought that she loved me, 'til she began to laugh
She showed me the door and threw out my hat.

Chorus...

Take a quarter pound of reason, and a half pound of sense,
A small sprig of time, and a pinch of prudence,
Now mix then all together and you and you will plainly see:
She's a false deluded lover, let her go, fare well she.

Chorus...


Female perspective:

Chorus
All around my hat, I will wear the green willow,
And all around my hat, for a twelve-month and a day.
And if anyone should ask me the reason why I'm wearin' it,
It's all for my true love who's far, far, away

Fare thee well cold winter, and fare thee well cold frost.
Oh nothing I have gained, but my own true love have lost.
So sing and I'll be merry, when occasion I do see-
He's a false deluded young man, let him go, fare well he.

Chorus...

Now the other day he brought me a fine diamond ring:
but he thought to deprive me of a far finer thing.
But I being careful, as true lovers ought to be,
He's a false deluded young man, let him go fare well he.

Chorus...

Take a quarter pound of reason, and a half pound of sense,
A small sprig of time, and a pinch of prudence,
Now mix then all together and you will plainly see:
He's a false deluded young man, let him go, fare well he.

Chorus...