Collected by Merlin Mitchell
Transcribed by Mary C. Parler
November 12, 1950
Reel 75, Item 3
"I think I learned that when I lived up on Spavinaw."
In the early month of May,
When the green buds were swellin'
Sweet William on his cold deathbed lay
For the love of Bar'bry Allen.
He sent his servants to the town,
He sent them to her de-welling,
Yo' master's sick and he calls for you,
If your name is Barbry Allen.
She slowly, slowly fixed her hair,
And slowly she approached him,
And all she said when she got there,
Was, You're in a . • condition.
Ah, yas, I'm sick, I'm very sick,
And death is in my dwelling,
And none the better will ever I be,
If I never get you, Barbry Allen.
He turned his pale face to the wall,
He turned his back upon her,
Oh, please, he said, Oh, please, he talked,
Be kind to Barbry Allen.
When she was jist five miles from town,
She heard the death-bells tolling;
Oh, lay him down, oh, lay him down,
Until I look upon him.
The more she looked, the more she weeped,
Until she bursted out crying,
I could have saved Sweet William's life,
If only I'd been tryin'.
Oh, Mother, Mother, fix my bed,
And fix it long and narrow,
Sweet William died for me today,
I'll die for him tomorrow.
Reel 75, Item 3
They buried her in the old churchyard,
They buried him beside her,
And from his breast grew a red, red rose,
From hers there grew a briar.
They grew so high, they grew so tall,
They couldn't grow any higher,
They tangled and twisted in a (l) knot
That beautiful rose and the briar.
(1) Mitchell: What kind of a knot was it they twisted into?
Martin: Lovelessly knot, it's s'pose to be.
Mitchell: Lovelessly knot??? Loveliest!!!
Martin: Loveliest knot. Yeah, I got it wrong.
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