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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleO then, o then
Roud No.437
Collected FromMills, James
LocationSouth Cerney
CountyGloucestershire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 150
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 22nd January, 1916, p 2, Part 15, No. 10
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Once I was a young man, O then, O then,
Once I was a young man, O then;
A-courting I went, and my money I spent,
And the world went merry with me just now, then.

Verse 2

I married me a wife, O then, O then,
I married me a wife, O then,
My wife she fell sick and the fever took her quick,
And the world went merry with me just now, then.

Verse 3

I went for the doctor, O then, O then,
I went for the doctor, O then,
He couldn't do her good, nor I didn't wish he would,
For the world went merry with me just now, then.


Verse 4

My wife she did die, O then, O then
My wife she did die, O then,
My wife she did die, be hanged if I could cry,
For the world went merry with me just now, then.

Verse 5

I went for the coffin, O then, O then
I went for the coffin, O then,
I went for the coffin, and I couldn't speak for laughing,
For the world went merry with me just now, then.

Verse 6

I put her in the coffin, O then O then,
I put her in the coffin, O then,
I put her in the coffin and I saw the bitch a-laughing,
And the world went merry with me just now, then.

Verse 7

I took her to the grave, O then, O then,
I took her to the grave, O then,
I heard the bands play and I danced all the way,,
And the world went merry with me just now, then.

Verse 8

And now she's in, O then, O then,
And now she's in, O then,
And now she's in, we'll have a glass of gin,
For the world went merry with me just now, then.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred Ms / WGS: 'Here again I am required to give two versions of a song which has for its subject the sarcastic relation of the taking of a wife and the ill natured rejoicing of the husband over her death and burial. Obtained of James Mills, South Cerney.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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