The Willow Maid is my attempt at writing a Celtic style ballad. I've always been fascinated by the idea that each tree has a "soul" in the form of a nymph or fairy. In Celtic mythology a man will often claim a sea nymph or tree nymph as his bride, but I never read any story where the fairy had any say in the matter.
In my song, the man refuses to listen to the fairy's repeated plea, and cuts down her willow tree hoping to persuade her to come with him, but the act kills her instead.
A young man walked through the forest, with his quiver and hunting bow. He heard a young girl singing, and followed the sound below. There he found the maiden, who lives in the willow. He called to her as she listened, from a ring of toadstools red. 'Come with me my maiden, come from thy willow bed' She looked at him serenely and only shook her head.
'See me now, a ray of light in the moondance. See me now, I cannot leave this place. Hear me now, a strain of song in the forest. Don't ask me, to follow where you lead.'
A young man walked through the forest, with a flower and coat of green. His love had hair like fire, her eyes an emerald sheen. She wrapped herself in beauty, so young and so serene. He stood there under the willow, and he gave her the yellow bloom. 'Girl my heart you've captured, oh I would be your groom.' She said she'd wed him never, not near, nor far, nor soon.
A young man walked through the forest, with an axe sharp as a knife. I'll take the green-eyed fairy, and she shall be my wife. With her I'll raise my children, with her I'll live my life. The maiden wept when she heard him, when he said he'd set her free. He took his axe and used it, to bring down her ancient tree. 'Now your willow's fallen, now you belong to me.'
She followed him out the forest, and collapsed upon the earth. her feet had walked but a distance, from the green land of her birth. She faded into a flower, that would bloom for one bright eve. He could not take from the forest, what was never meant to leave.