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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleRover
Roud No.1112
Collected FromIles, Elijah
LocationInglesham
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 511
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 12th February, 1916, p 3, Part 18, No. 9
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

I am a rover and that's well known,
I'm just a-going to leave my home;
To leave my home and my friends to mourn;
Farewell my bonny girl, till I return.

Verse 2

She drew a chair, and bid me sit down,
And soon she told me her heart was won;
She drew a chair, whilst I took my leave:
Farewell my bonny girl, don't grieve.

Verse 3

Then I sat down and wrote a song,
I wrote it wide, and I wrote it long;
At every line I shed a tear,
And at every verse I cried -"Polly dear."

Verse 4

"I am not married, but I am free,
And I am not bound to marry thee;
But a married life I soon will see,
For a contented mind bears no jealousy."

Verse 5

As I crossed over yon dreary moor,
There I lost sight of my true love's door;
My heart did ache, my eyes were blind,
Thinking on the bonny girl I'd left behind.

Verse 6

I wish, I wish, but it's all in vain,
I wish I was a maid again;
But a maid again I'll never be,
Till apples grow on an orange tree.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS 'An ancient and simple piece, that is only remembered by the most aged men. I obtained the copy of Elijah Iles, Inglesham and James Shilton, Lechlade, one of whom is ninety four, and the other ninety years of age.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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