Hanged I Shall Be
As I was bound apprentice, I was bound unto a mill.
I served my master truly for seven years or more.
Until I took up courting with a girl with a rolling eye.
I told that girl I'd marry her, if she would be my bride.
I asked her if she'd take a walk through the fields and meadows gay,
And there we told the tales of love and fixed the wedding day.
As we were a-walking, and talking of things that grew around,
I took a stick all out of the hedge and knocked that pretty maid down.
Down on her bended knees she fell, and loud for mercy cried:
"O, come spare the life of an innocent girl, for I am not fit to die."
Then I took her by her curly locks and dragged her on the ground,
Until I came to the riverside that flowed to Ekefield town,
That ran so long in distance, that ran so deep and wide,
And there I plunged that pretty fair maid that should have been my bride.
When I went home to my parents' house, about ten o'clock that night,
My mother she jumped out of bed, all for to light the light.
She asked me and she questioned me, "What stains your hands and clothes?"
And the answer I gave back to her, "I been bleeding at the nose."
No rest, no rest, all that long night, no rest could I find,
For the sparks of fire and brimstone all round my head did shine.
And it was about two days after, this fair young maid was found
A-floating by the riverside that flows to Ekefield town.
The judges and the jurymen, on me they did agree,
For murdering of this pretty fair maid, so hangèd I shall be.
"Ekefield" is probably a corruption of "Hocstow." From R. Palmer, "Everyman's
Book of English Country Songs." Recorded by The Albion Band with Martin Carthy
on "Battle of the Field."
Collected by E. J. Moeran from a Norfolk man in 1921