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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleDown in the lowlands low
Roud No.182
Collected FromSawyer, David [Phoebus]
LocationOgbourne St. Andrew
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 441
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 25th December, 1915, p 2, Part 11, No. 2
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Young Emma was a servant maid and loved a sailor bold,
Who ploughed the main, much gold to gain, for his love, as I've been told.
On board the jolly merchantman he sailed up and down,
And went upon a man-o'-war a-fighting for the Crown.

Verse 2

Now seven long years were ended since he sailed on the foam,
And when seven years were ended young Edwin he came home;
He went unto his Emma's house the gold to her to show,
That he gained upon the main and about the lowlands low.

Verse 3

Emma's father kept a public inn that stood down by the sea,
Says Emma, "You can enter in and here this night can be:
I'll meet you in the morning, don't let my parents know,
That your name it is young Edwin that ploughs the lowlands low."

Verse 4

Young Edwin he sat drinking till 'twas time to go to bed,
But little was he thinking what sorrows crowned his head.
Said Emma's cruel father - "This gold will make a show,
And we'll send his body sinking down in the lowlands low."

Verse 5

As Emma on her pillow lay she had a frightful dream,
She thought she saw his body laid down by a crystal stream.
Then she arose, put on her clothes, and to her friends did go,
Because she loved him dearly that ploughed the lowlands low.

Verse 6

"Oh mother! where is the stranger that came here last night to lay?"
"He's dead and still, no tales to tell," her father then did say.
"Oh father! cruel father! You'll die a public show,
For murdering my Edwin down in the lowlands low."
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'An old broadside ballad, one of a type formerly common and popular. Obtained of David Sawyer.'

Note 2

In Verse 1 Line 4 the original text was:

And went upon a man-of-war a-fighting for the Crown.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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