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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleFalse hearted William
Roud No.1414
Collected FromWheeler, Jonas
LocationBuscot
CountyBerkshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 1 - Indexes, lecture notes, Berkshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Bk 4
Source SecondaryUnpublished
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

In Brighton lived a fair young maid,
As fair as eyes could see,
Till a young man came a-courting her,
And proved her destiny.

Verse 2

She came to him next morning,
And wept most bitterly,
Saying - 'Willie, dearest Willie,
When will you marry me?'

Verse 3

'To marry you, Miss Polly,
Is more than I can do,
For I never intend to wed a girl,
So easily led as you.

Verse 4

Go home unto your parents,
And do the best you can,
And tell them your true love William,
Has proved a false young man.'

Verse 5

'I'll not go home to my parents,
Nor bring them to disgrace,
For I'd rather go and drown myself,
In some wild lonesome place.'

Verse 6

As Willie was a-walking,
Along the river side,
He saw his true love Polly,
Come floating on the tide.

Verse 7

He caught hold of her lily white hand,
And found that she was gone,
Saying - 'Lord have mercy on my soul,
I've proved a false young man.

Verse 8

Let none of my friends or relations,
Come lounging after me,
For on these cold and sandy banks,
I'll die with my Pollee.'
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Alfred Williams - 'I have heard of this but once, viz., at Buscot on the banks of the Thames. The words were given me by Mr Jonas Wheeler. He tells me he learnt the song when he was a boy, at the wharf at New Bridge, where he was employed with the barges. A woman, one of the bargemen's wives, sang the piece.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2007.

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