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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleOnce I courted a fair beauty bride
Roud No.405
Collected FromUnknown
LocationCastle Eaton
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 346
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 5th February, 1916, p 3, Part 17, No. 3
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

O once I courted a fair beauty bride,
And she was the joy and comfort of my life;
I courted her for love, it was for her love to gain,
And I'm sure she had no reason at all to complain.

Verse 2

As soon as her father came for to know,
That I courted his daughter and darling also,
O then he ordered me that I should be sent to sea,
Away from my Polly and her sweet company.

Verse 3

O then for a soldier I was forced for to go,
To see whether I could forget my love or no;
But as I entered in with my sword, it shone so bright,
I could not forget her by day, nor by night.

Verse 4

And when I returned unto my dearest dear,
O then to New Bedlam I was forced to draw near;
I asked her father for her, and he made this reply -
"She broke her heart in love, and for her love she died."

Verse 5

"Don't tell me, don't tell me more than I can bear!
For if she's in a silent grave I wish I was there;
Then I should be free from all sorrow, grief and woe,
For I know not where to wander, nor where for to go."

Verse 6

O then in New Bedlam this young man was confined,
And the thoughts of his Polly ran hard in his mind;
With the rattling of his chains on a straw bed he did lie,
And he called for his Polly till the day that he died.
Print Song Lyrics
Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'This version originally came from Castle Eaton. I obtained of William King, Highworth, nephew of the Thomas King mentioned above.'

Williams, Alfred: WGS 'This version also originally came from Castle Eaton. I obtained of William King, Highworth, nephew of the Thomas King mentioned above [Pressed off to war].'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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