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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleFarmer's daughter and her servant man
Roud No.18
Collected FromGardner, Richard
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 3 - Oxfordshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Ox 270
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 25th December, 1915, p 2, Part 11, No. 12
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

It's of a brisk and gay old farmer,
He had two sons and a daughter dear;
The servant man being much admired,
Not one in the world she loved so dear.

Verse 2

They asked him to go to a field of hunting,
He went without any fear nor strife,
And those two brothers they proved so cruel,
They took away this young man's life.

Verse 3

When they returned from the field of hunting,
The sister inquired for the servant man -
"Now brothers, tell me, because you whisper,
Now brothers tell me, if you can."

Verse 4

"Sister, sister, I much divine you,
To see you look so pale and wan;
We've left him in the field of hunting,
No more to be your servant man."

Verse 5

Then she rose early in the morning,
Early by the break of day;
She searched all round where there was no water,
And there she found his body lay.

Verse 6

And on his lips there was blood drying,
Tears more salt than any brine;
Three times she kissed him, loudly crying -
"Here lies the bosomest friend of mine."

Verse 7

Three nights and days she stood lamenting,
Till her poor heart was filled with woe;
Until sharp hunger came creeping on her,
And then off to home she was forced to go.

Verse 8

And those two brothers both were tried,
And were bound up in irons strong;
All for this murder they both were guilty,
All for this murder they both were hung.
Print Song Lyrics
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS 'The subject of the following piece is a well laboured one: it has provided the ballad singers with much capital material. The frequent appearance of the type of story may be tedious, but the rustics do not tire of hearing the pieces. Obtained of Richard Gardner, Hardwick, Oxfordshire.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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