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Woodman, Spare That Tree, song lyrics

Song: Woodman, Spare That Tree(1)
Words: George Pope Morris(2)

Music: n/a
Year: 1830(3)
Genre: Ballad
Country: USA

Woodman, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough;
In youth it shelter'd me,
And I'll protect it now.
'Twas my forefather's hand,
That place it near this cot;
There, woodman, let it stand,
Thy axe shall harm it not.

That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown
Are spread o'er land and sea,
And wouldst thou hack it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
Cut not its earth bound ties;
Oh! spare that aged oak
Now towering to the skies!
This song was originally posted on
When but an idle boy,
I sought its greateful shade;
In all their gushing joy,
Here, too, my sisters play'd.
My mother kidded me here;
My father press'd my hand-
Forgive this foolish tear,
But let that old oak stand!

My heartstrings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild birds sing,
And still they branches bend.
Old tree! the storms still brave!
And woodman, leave the spot;
While I've a hand to save,
They axe shall harm it not.


1 - Appears in "Hadaway's Select Songster: Being a Collection of the Most Approved New and Fashionable Sentimental and Comic Songs", edited by T. H. Hadaway, Comedian, Published by Gihon & Kuchner, Philadelphia, 1840, p.15-16.

2 - George Pope Morris

3 - 1830 as reported in Bartlett's Familiar quotations, 10th ed., 1919