THE TREES THEY GROW HIGH
acrylics, 23 carat gold leaf and copper powders
on handmade nepalese bark paper.
8 x 11 cm
“The trees they grow high and the leaves they do grow green,
Many’s the time my true love I’ve seen
Many an hour, I’ve watched him all alone
He’s young, but he’s daily growing.
At the age of fourteen, he was a married man
At the age of fifteen the father of a son
At the age of sixteen, his grave it was green
And death had put an end
to his growing.”
oan Baez did a beautiful rendering of this traditional Scottish song, which tells the sad story of a young lady of twenty-four years old who was married to a nobleman’s son who was only fourteen. She bore him a son the year following, but unfortunately he died soon after.
The lyrics may have been based upon the XVII° century wedding of Lord Craighton to Elizabeth Innes. She was several years older than he, and he died in 1634 shortly after their wedding.
However, scholars note that the ballad may be older, as child marriages were common in the Middle Ages.