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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleSheep crook and black dog
Roud No.948
Collected FromBarrett, John Frank [Shepherd]
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 98
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 30th October, 1915, p 2, Part 5, No. 7
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

"Come here, my dear Flora, and sit down by me,
And we will be married, if we can agree."
"Oh no," says dear Flora, "my time is not come,
And to marry so early my age is too young."

Verse 2

"We'll both go to service, and when I return,
We will be married all in the next town."
"Will you go to service and leave me to cry?"
"Oh yes, loving shepherd, I'll tell you for why."

Verse 3

It happened so to service she went,
To wait on a lady was Flora's intent,
To wait on a lady, and a rich lady gay,
It clothed fair Flora in costly array.

Verse 4

In a little time, after a letter was sent,
It was a few lines for to know her intent:
She wrote that she lived a contented life,
That she never intended to be a poor shepherd's wife.

Verse 5

The words that she wrote they pierced like a dart -
"I'll pluck up my spirits, I'll cheer up my heart,
In hoping fair Flora won't write so any more."
But the answer she gave was the same as before.

Verse 6

"My ewes and my lambs I will bid them adieu,
My instruments of music I will leave them with you,
My sheep crook and black dog I will leave them behind,
Since Flora, fair Flora, has changed her mind."
Print Song Lyrics
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: Williams - 'A quaint specimen of the old shepherd songs. Obtained of Shepherd Barret of Long Dolls, Lechlade, who learned it of an old woman, his neighbour.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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