Barbara Allen -Traditional
This famous ballad has several variants and is mentioned in a 1666 entry of the Diary of Samuel Pepys,
where it is identifies it as a Scottish song. It can also be heard in the classic film version of A Christmas Carol.
The song tells the story of two brokenhearted lovers, who, after they die, are buried next to each other.
In a striking image, a red rose and a briar then grow from their graves and intertwine in a lover's knot.
1. Was in the merry month of May
When flowers were a bloomin',
Sweet William on his death-bed lay
F G7 C
For the love of Barbara Allen.
2. Slowly, slowly she got up,
And slowly she went nigh him,
And all she said when she got there,
"Young man, I think you're dying."
3. "O yes, I'm sick and very low,
And death is on me dwellin',
No better shall I ever be
If I don't get Barbara Allen."
4. "Don't you remember the other day
When you were in the tavern,
I toasted all the ladies there
And slighted Barbara Allen?"
5. "O yes, I remember the other day
When we were in the Tavern,
I toasted all the ladies there,
Gave my love to Barbara Allen."
6. He turned his pale face to the wall,
And death was on him dwellin'.
"Adieu, Adieu, my kind friends all,
Be kind to Barbara Allen."
7. As she was walkin' through the fields,
She heard the death bells knelling,
And every toll they seemed to say,
"Hard-hearted Barbara Allen."
8. She looked east, she looked west,
She saw his corpse a-comin'.
"Lay down, lay down the corpse," she said,
"And let me gaze upon him."
9. "O mother, mother, make my bed,
O make it long and narrow,
Sweet William died for me today,
I'll die for him tomorrow."
10. Sweet William died on a Saturday night,
And Barbara died on Sunday,
Her mother died for the love of both,
And was buried Easter Monday.
11. They buried Willie in the old church yard,
And Barbara there anigh him,
And out of his grave grew a red, red rose,
And out of hers, a briar.
12. They grew and grew in the old churchyard,
Till they couldn't grow no higher,
They lapped and tied in a true love's knot.
The rose ran around the briar.
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