Collected by Karl T. Gosnell For Mary C. Parler
Sting by Annie Owens Ola, Arkansas November 27, 1958
Reel 272, Item 12
'Twas in the merry month of May,
When the green leaves they were buddin', Sweet William Gray on his death-bed lay For the love of Barbara Allen,
He sent his servant unto her,
To the place where she was dwellin’,
"My master’s sick and he sent for you If your name be Barbara Allen,”
Slowly, slowly she arose,
And slowly she went to him;
And all she said when she got there Was, "My love, I think you’re dying.
Do you remember once in town,
A-drinkin' at the tavern,
You drinked to all the girls around,
But you slighted Barbara Allen?"
He turned his pale face to the wall,
She turned her back upon him;
He bid adieu to the ladies ’round,
"Be kind to Barbara Allen,"
She had not rode a mile from town Till she heard the death bells tollin’;
She cried aloud for to set him down That she might look upon him.
The more she looked, the more she wept Until she burst out cryin',
"Sweet William died for me today,
I will for him tomorrow."
They buried Sweet William in one churchyard, Barbara Allen in another;
A rose grew on Sweet William’s grave,
On Barbara Allen's grew a brier.
They grew and they grew to the steeple top; There they grew no higher.
There they tied in a true-love's knot,
The rose bush and the brier.
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