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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleAs I was a-walking by Newgate one day
Roud No.605
Collected FromPhipps, Job
LocationBrize Norton
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 3 - Oxfordshire: Williams, A: MS collection No. Ox 239
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 15th April, 1916, p 3, Part 27, No. 2
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

As I was a walking by Newgate one day,
I heard a lady unto a judge did say -
"You banished my true love, you very well know,
And sent him to the salt seas where the stormy winds blow.

Verse 2

I'll give to each turnkey a bright sum of gold,
If they will contrive me to the arms of my love;
Now our ship it lies at Blackwall just ready to set sail,
So God bless you true lovers with a sweet pleasant gale."

Verse 3

Now as they were a sailing at their heart's content,
The ship sprang a leak my boys, to the bottom she went.
There were four and twenty of us jumped into a boat,
And on the wide ocean we were forced for to float.

Verse 4

Then hunger came on us and death drawing nigh,
We all did cast lots for to see which should die;
And this innocent virgin the shortest lot drew,
And she was to die for to feed the ship's crew.

Verse 5

"O hold your hand, butcher," this young damsel replied,
"How can you destroy a poor innocent maid?
I'm a rich merchant's daughter, from London I be,
See what I'm brought to by loving thee!"

Verse 6

O then the hot colour flew into his face,
With his eyes full of tears and his heart like to break;
The heart in his bosom was ready to burst -
"O now to preserve thee, love, I will die first."

Verse 7

Before the blow struck him, we all heard a gun -
"'Tis hold your hand, butcher for help it is come;
O hold your hand, butcher," this damsel replied,
"There's some ship or some harbour that's near standing by."

Verse 8

Now as we were a-sailing with a sweet pleasant tide,
We came to a village close by the sea side;
Said she - "Brother shipmates, I bid you adieu,
That I have proved loyal you very well know."

Verse 9

Now this couple got married, as I've heard them say,
The bells they did ring, and the music did play;
The birds made the valleys to echo and to ring,
The young men did dance, and the maidens did sing.
Print Song Lyrics
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: I have met with the following in two forms though the variations are not considerable. It was popular in many parts of the Thames Valley especially at Bishopstone, Wiltshire, and around Witney. The copy obtained of Job Phipps, Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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