Collected by Edwin R. Bethune
For Mary C. Parler
Transcribed by Frances Majors
Sung by Mrs. Pearl Brewer
August 1, 1958
Reel 262, Item 2
Barbara Allen (Child 84 )
Oh, it was all in one merry month of May,
When the flower buds all were swelling,
My master's sick and sent for you,
If your name be Barbara Allen.
So slowly, slowly she got up,
And slowly she went nigh him;
The very first words she said to him were
Young man, I think you're dying.
Oh, yes, I'm sick, and very sick,
And death he's with me dwelling,
Though none the better will I ever be
If I can't get Barbara Allen.
Oh, don't you remember the other night
When we were at the tavern?
You spent your wealth upon the other girls
And slighted Barbara Allen.
Oh, yes, I remember the other night
When we were at the tavern;
I spent my wealth upon the other girls,
But yet loved Barbara Allen.
He turned his cold face to the wall,
His back upon her;
Adieu, adieu, to the ladies all around;
Be kind to Barbara Allen.
On the very next day she was down in town,
When she heard the death bell ringing;
It rang so loud and spoke so plain,
Hard hearted Barbara Allen.
Oh, she looked east and she looked west,
Till she saw the corpse a-coming;
The more she gazed the worse she felt,
Till she burst out a-crying.
Barbara Allen (Cont'd)
Reel 262, Item 2 (Cont'd)
Oh, mother, dear mother, go dig my grave;
Go dig it long and narrow.
Sweet William died for me today,
And I'll die for him tomorrow.
There grew a rose on Sweet William's grave,
And on Barbara's grave sprang a briar.
They grew and grew to the top of a tower,
And they could not grow any higher.
They looped and tied in a true lover's knot,
And the rose run around the briar.
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