Fith Fath Song

(Words adapted from traditional Scottish ballad – tune by Caitlin Matthews)

Google and many sources will tell you that this is a traditional shape-shifting song that originates from Scotland and is traditionally sung as part of a Beltane love chase. But I recently discovered that it was in fact written by Caitlin Matthews in 1978. The oral tradition working its magic! A wonderful song.

I shall go as a wren in Spring,
With sorrow and sighing on silent wing,
I shall go in our Lady’s name,
Aye till I come home again.

Then we shall follow as falcons grey,
And hunt thee cruelly for our prey,
And we shall go in our Horned God’s name,
Aye to fetch thee home again.

Then I shall go as a mouse in May,
Through fields by night, and in cellars by day,
And I shall go in our Lady’s name,
Aye till I come home again.

Then we shall follow as black tom cats,
And hunt thee through the fields and the vats,
And we shall go in our Horned God’s name,
Aye to fetch thee home again.

Then I shall go as an Autumn hare,
With sorrow and sighing and mickle care,
And I shall go in our Lady’s name,
Aye till I come home again.

Then we shall follow as swift greyhounds,
And dog thy steps with leaps and bounds,
And we shall go in our Horned God’s name,
Aye to fetch thee home again.

Then I shall go as a Winter trout,
With sorrow and sighing and mickle doubt,
And I shall go in our Lady’s name,
Aye till I come home again.

Then we shall follow as otters swift,
And bind thee fast so thou cans’t shift,
And we shall go in our Horned God’s name,
Aye to fetch thee home again.