What's the life of a man?

This is a completely unaltered transcript of a traditional English folksong. I don't know its provenance, but it has more of the feel of a sentimental Victorian song than a true traditional number. Although it's still quite popular on the folk circuit I know of only one recorded version, on the Cumbrian duo Paul and Linda Adams' album Farewell to the Fells, a copy of which I inherited from my Dad when he upgraded to CD. It should be just about impossible to find.

Anyway, it seems highly suitable for Fyvrians...

As I was a-walking one morning at ease
A-viewing the leaves that had fell from the trees
All in full motion appearing to be
And those that had withered, they fell from the tree.

What's the life of a man any more than a leaf?
A man has his seasons so why should he grieve?
For although in this world we appear fine and gay
Like a leaf we must wither and soon fade away.

If you'd a' seen the trees but a few days ago
How beautiful and green they all seemed to grow
A frost came upon them and withered them all
A storm came upon them and down they did fall.

What's the life...

If you look in the churchyard there you will see
Those that have passed like a leaf from the tree
When age and affliction upon them did call
Like a leaf they did whither and down they did fall.

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