Collected by Helen McAllister and Sung by Oscar Smith
Sue Holley Westville, Oklahoma
For Mary Celestia Parler July 22, 1959
Transcribed by Helen McAllister and
Sue Holley Reel 289, Item 6
In London town where I was born There was a fair maid dwelling Made every youth cry well I'll wait For the love of Barbara Allen.
He sent his servant to the town Where Barbara was a dwelling
master's sick and calls for thee If your name be Barbara Allen.
And death is painted on his face And o'er his heart is stealing Then hasten away to comfort him Oh, lovely Barbara Allen.
So slowly, slowly she got up And slowly she came nigh him And all she said when she got there Young man I think you're dying.
Oh yes I'm sick and very sick And death is on me dwelling
No better no better I never shall be
If I can't have Barbara Allen.
Oh yes you're sick and very sick And death is on your dwelling
No better no better you never will be
For you can't have Barbara Allen.
Oh don't you remember in yonder town
When you were at the tavern
You drank the health of the ladies all around
And slighted Barbara Allen.
(Cont'd)Barbara Allen Reel 289, Item 6 Continued
Oh yes I remember in yonder town In yonder town a drinking
I drank to the health of the ladies all around Gave my heart to Barbara Allen.
As she was on her highway home The birds they kept a singing They sang so clear they seem to say Hard-hearted Barbara Allen.
As she was walking o'er the fields She heard the death bells tolling And every stroke did seem to say Hard-hearted Barbara Allen.
She looked to the East, she looked to the West She spyed his corpse a coming Lay down, lay down that corpse of clay That I may look upon him.
The more she looked the more she mourned Till she fell to the ground a crying Saying take me up and carry me home For I am now a dying.
Oh mother, oh mother, go make my bed Go make it long and narrow Sweet William died for pure pure love And I shall die for sorrow.
Oh father, oh father, go dig my grave Go dig it long and narrow Sweet William died for me today I'll die for him tomorrow.
She was buried in the old church yard And he was buried a nigh her On William's grave there grew a red rose On Barbara's grew a green briar.
They grew and grew till they reached the church tops
And they could grow no higher
They tied themselves in a true love knot
The red rose and the briar.
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