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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleMaria Martin
Roud No.215
Collected FromUnknown
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 5 - Miscellaneous: Williams, A: MS collection No Mi 628
Source SecondaryUnpublished
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Come all you brisk young fellows, a warning take by me,
And think of my unhappy fate when hung upon a tree,
My name is William Garder to you I do declare,
I murdered Maria Martin, most beautiful and fair.

Verse 2

I told her I would marry her upon a certain day,
Instead of that I was resolved to take her life away;
I went unto her father's house on the eighteenth day of May -
'Oh come, my dear Maria, and we'll fix our wedding day.

Verse 3

If you'll meet me at the Red Barn, as sure as I have life,
I'll take you off to Ipswich Town and there make you my wife.'
Straightway I went and fetched my gun, my pickaxe and my spade,
I went unto the Red Barn and there I dug her grave.

Verse 4

With heart so light, she felt no harm, to meet him she did go,
He murdered her in the Red Barn and laid her body low,
And when the horrid deed he'd done, all covered in her gore,
Her bleeding mangled body he threw beneath the Red Barn floor.

Verse 5

Now all things being silent, she could not take her rest,
She appeared in her mother's house, who nursed her on her breast;
Her mother's mind being so disturbed she dreamed three times o'er,
That her daughter there lay murdered beneath the Red Barn floor.

Verse 6

She sent her father to the barn, underneath the ground he thrust,
And there he found his daughter lay mingled with the dust -
'My timid hand I could not stand, most awful was the sight,
When the jawbone was brought to prove, it pierced my heart quite.'

Verse 7

Her aged mother was standing by, likewise his loving wife,
And in her grief her hair she tore, she scarce could keep her life -
'Adieu! adieu! my darling friends. My glass is almost run.
On Monday next will be my last, when I am to be hung.'

Verse 8

'All you young men that do pass by, with pity look on me:
For murdering Maria Marten I was hung upon a tree.'
Print Song Lyrics
In Verse 2, Line 4 the original text reads:

'Oh come, my dear Maria, and we'll fix the wedding day.'

In Verse 3, Line 2 the original text reads:

I'll take you off to Chiswick Town and there make you my wife

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2007.



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