Collected by M.C. Parler Sung by Bessie Atchley
Transcribed by Bessie Atchley Green Forest, Arkansas
July 7, 1960 Reel 387, Item 1
In Saxton town, where I was born There was a fair maid dwellin'
Made every youth cry well-away And her name was Barbara Allen.
All in the early month of May
When the green buds they were swellin' Sweet William came from the western states And courted Barbara Allen.
It was in the month of June,
When all things they were bloomin'
Sweet William on his death-bed lay For the love of Barbara Allen.
He sent his servant to the town Where Barbara was a dwellin'
"My master is sick, and sent for you If your name is Barbara Allen."
So slowly, slowly she got up And slowly she came nigh him,
And all she said when she got there,
Was, young man I think you're dyin'.
"Oh, yes, I'm sick, and very sick And death is on me dwellin'
No, better, no better I ever can be,
If I can't get Barbara Allen."
"Oh, yes, your sick and very sick,
And death is on you dwellin'
No better, no better you'll ever be For you can't get Barbara Allen.
Oh, don't you remember in yonder town,
When you were at the tavern You drank a toast to the ladies all 'round And slighted Barbara Allen?"
"Oh, yes, I remember in yonder town,
In yonder town a drinkin'
I gave a toast to the ladies all around But my heart to Barbara Allen.Reel 387, Item 1 (cont'd)
He turned his pale face to the wall,
He turned his back next to them.
Farewell, farewell to the ladies all around And farewell to Barbara Allen.
Then slowly, slowly she rose up And slowly she did leave him
She sighing said she could not stay While the breath of life was leavin'
As she was walking o'er the fields She heard the death bells tollin'
And every ring did seem to say Hard hearted Barbara Allen.
She looked to the east, she looked to the west She spied his corpse a comin'
"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 cryin'
"Saying take me up and carry me home For I know that I am dyin'
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
From William's heart there grew a red rose From Barbara's grew a green brier.
They grew and they grew, to the old church wall Till they could grow no higher
And there they tied in a true love knot For all true lovers to admire.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.