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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleJohnny Sands
Roud No.184
Collected FromCollins, James
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 99
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 26th February, 1916, p 3, Part 20, No. 4
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

A man, whose name was Johnny Sands,
Had married Betty Haig;
Although she brought him gold and lands,
She proved a terrible plague.

Verse 2

For Oh, she was a scolding wife,
Full of caprice and whim;
He said that he was tired of life,
And she was tired of him.

Verse 3

Says he - "Then I will drown myself,
The river runs below."
Says she - "Pray do, you silly elf,
I wished it long ago."

Verse 4

Says he - "Upon the brink I'll stand,
Do you run down the hill,
And push me in with all your might."
Says she - "My love, I will."

Verse 5

"For fear that I should courage lack,
And try to save my life,
Pray, tie my hands behind my back."
"I will." replied his wife.

Verse 6

She tied them fast as you may think,
And when securely done,
"Now stand," said she, "upon the brink,
And I'll prepare to run."

Verse 7

All down the hill his loving wife,
Then ran, with all her force,
To push him in, he steps aside,
And she slipped in of course.

Verse 8

Now splashing, dashing like a fish -
"Oh, save me Johnny Sands."
"I can't, my dear, how much I wish,
For you have tied my hands."
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'Johnny Sands is the Gloucestershire version of the above [Old woman of Hyslop Town]. This I obtained of James Collins, Lechlade.'

Note 2

In Verse 6 Line 3 the original text read:

'Go stand,' said she, 'upon the brink,

In Verse 7 Line 3 the original text read:

To push him in, he stepped aside,

Note 3

In WGS the verses are printed with eight lines each making only four verses.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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