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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleLord Lovel
Roud No.48
Collected FromHarvey, Henry [Wassail]
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative TitleChild No 075
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 371
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 16th October, 1915, p 2, Part 3, No. 14: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 145, 146
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Lord Lovel stood at his castle gate,
Combing his milk white steed,
When up came Lady Nancy Bell
To wish her lover good speed.

Verse 2

"Oh, where are you going, Lord Lovel?" she said,
"Oh, where are you going?" said she.
"I'm going, Lady Nancy Bell,
Foreign countries for to see."

Verse 3

"When will you return?" Lady Nancy she says,
"When will you return?" said she.
"In a year or two, or three at the most,
I'll return to my Lady Nancy."

Verse 4

He'd only been gone twelve months and a day,
Foreign countries for to see,
When lingering thoughts cam into his mind,
Lady Nancy he'd go and see.

Verse 5

He rode, and he rode on his milk white steed,
Till he came to London Town,
And there he heard St Pancras bells,
And the people mourning round.

Verse 6

"Oh, what is the matter, the matter?" he cried,
"Oh. What is the matter?" cried he.
"The lord's lady is dead," the people all said,
"Some call her the Lady Nancy."

Verse 7

He ordered her grave be opened wide,
And her shroud to be turned down,
That he might kiss her clay cold lips,
While the tears dropped on the ground.

Verse 8

Lady Nancy she died as might be today,
Lord Lovel as might be tomorrow,
Lady Nancy she died out of pure, pure grief.
And Lord Lovel he died out of sorrow.

Verse 9

Lady Nancy she lies in the cold church yard,
Lord Lovel he lies under the spire,
Out of Lady Nancy's bosom there grew a red rose,
And out of Lord Lovel's a briar.

Verse 10

They grew and they grew to the church steeple top,
Till they could not grow any higher,
They twined themselves into a true lover's knot,
For all people to admire.
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS / FSUT: 'Obtained at Crudwell, of Mrs Goodfield. It was also sung at Cricklade, South Cerney, Watchfield and elsewhere.'

Note 2

Attributed to Harvey on the basis that he was the only Cricklade source noted by Williams.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2013.



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