Lovely Joan is a traditional English folk song (Roud #592), and the tune to which it is sung. Its melody is most familiar to modern audiences as the counterpoint tune used in British composer Ralph Greaves's arrangement of Fantasia on "Greensleeves" from Ralph Vaughan Williams's opera Sir John in Love.
The words to "Lovely Joan," as printed in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, are as follows:
- A fine young man it was indeed,
- He was mounted on his milk-white steed;
- He rode, he rode himself all alone,
- Until he came to lovely Joan.
- "Good morning to you, pretty maid."
- And, "Twice good morning, sir", she said.
- He gave her a wink, she rolled her eye.
- Says he to himself, "I'll be there by and by."
- "Oh don't you think those pooks of hay
- A pretty place for us to play?
- So come with me like a sweet young thing
- And I'll give you my golden ring."
- Then he pulled off his ring of gold.
- "My pretty little miss, do this behold.
- I'd freely give it for your maidenhead."
- And her cheeks they blushed like the roses red.
- "Give me that ring into my hand
- And I will neither stay nor stand,
- For this would do more good to me
- Than twenty maidenheads," said she.
- And as he made for the pooks of hay
- She leaped on his horse and tore away.
- He called, he called, but it was all in vain
- Young Joan she never looked back again.
- She didn't think herself quite safe,
- No, not till she came to her true love's gate.
- She's robbed him of his horse and ring,
- And left him to rage in the meadows green.
Sung by C. Jay, Acle, Norfolk (R.V.W. 1908).