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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleBarbara Allen
Roud No.54
Collected FromTanner, Charles
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative TitleChild No 084
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Oxfordshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Ox 205
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 13th November, 1915, p 2, Part 7, No. 3: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 206, 207
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

In Newbury town, where I was born,
A fair maid there was dwelling,
I picked her out to be my wife,
And her name was Barbara Allen.

Verse 2

All in the merry month of May,
When green leaves they were springing,
This young man on his death bed lay,
For the love of Barbara Allen.

Verse 3

He sent his servant to he house,
The house where she was dwelling,
Saying, - "Pretty maid, you must come along with me,
If your name is Barbara Allen."

Verse 4

So slowly she put on her clothes,
So slowly she went to him,
She went unto his bedside -
"Young man, I think you're dying."

Verse 5

"Oh, no! I am not dying yet.
One kiss of yours will cure me."
"One kiss of mine you shall never have,
Young man, if you are dying."

Verse 6

"Oh, you look down at my bed-feet,
You'll see a bow a-standing,
With the drops of blood I shed for thee,
For I loved thee, Barbara Allen.

Verse 7

Oh, you look up at my bed's head,
You'll see a watch a-hanging;
If thee won't be mine that shall be thine,
For I love thee, Barbara Allen."

Verse 8

"That shan't be mine, and I won't be thine,
So fare thee well, sweet Edwin!"
Then she turned all from his bedside,
And she departed from him.

Verse 9

As she was walking up the street,
She heard the bell a-tolling,
And every toll it seemed to say -
"Hard-hearted Barbara Allen."

Verse 10

As she was coming back again
She met the corpse a-coming -
"Oh, set him down, my bonny, bonny boys,
That I may gaze all on him."

Verse 11

Then they set down this pretty corpse,
While she did gaze upon him,
And all his friends cried out - "For shame,
Hard-hearted Barbara Allen."

Verse 12

Then, "Father, oh, father, dig me a grave,
And dig it long and narrow:
A young man died for me last night,
And I'll die for him tomorrow."
Print Song Lyrics
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'Obtained of Charles Tanner, the old Morris dancer, of Bampton, Oxfordshire.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'Obtained of Charles Tanner, Bampton, Oxfordshire.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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