Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Im a Little Orphan Girl

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I'm a Little Orphan Girl

I'm a Little Orphan Girl

     1.
     I'm a little orphan girl,
     My mother she is dead;
     My father is a drunkard,
     And won't buy me my bread.
     I leant upon the window-sill
     To hear the organ play
     And think of my dear mother
     Who's dead and far away.

     Ding dong my castle bell,
     Farewell to my mother,
     Bury me in the old churchyard
     Beside my eldest brother.
     My coffin shall be white,
     Six little angels by my side,
     Two to sing and two to pray
     And two to carry my soul away.

     2.
     Ding dong my castle bell,
     Farewell to my mother,
     Bury me in the old churchyard
     Beside my elder brother.
     My coffin shall be white
     Six white angels by my side,
     Two to sing and two to play
     And two to carry my soul away.

     3.
     Ding, dong! castle bells,
     Tell me where my mother dwells;
     Bury me in the old churchyard,
     Beside my oldest brother.

     My coffin shall be black,
     Six angels at my back;
     Two to sing, and two to pray,
     And two to carry my soul away.

     4.
     Ding! dong! my passing bell,
     Fare thee well, my mother.
     Bury me in the old churchyard
     Beside my oldest brother.

     My coffin shall be black;
     Six angels at my back:
     Two to sing and two to pray
     And two to carry my soul away.
     ________________________________________________________

     (1) Sung by children at Norton Park School, Edinburgh;
     recorded by the BBC in the 50s.  From Lomax, Scotland
     (gramophone disc), side A NO. 8(a).  The castle bell may
     well be a distortion of the obsolete passing bell; cf.
     no. (4) below.  Similar in Ritchie Golden City (1965),
     124, an Edinburgh skipping song (for "German ropes", in
     which a taut rope is on the ground and the girl has to
     jump from one side to the other), with sole differ in
     line 5, "I sit upon the window sill".
     (2) Opies Lore (1959), 34, a skipping song, particular
     locality in Scotland unstated.
     (3) Rymour Club Misc. I (1906-11), 150, from Gorgie
     School, Edinburgh; with music. Sometimes the words vary,
     as "Green peas, mutton pies, Tell me where my mother
     lies;/ I'll be there before she dies, And cuddle in her
     bosom./ My coffin shall be black, etc." <Cf. "Green
     Peas".>
     (4) Rodger Lang Strang (1948), 27, as a line game;
     continued with a rhyme properly belonging to the class
     of book rhymes: When I'm dead and in my grave,/ And all
     my bones are rotten,/ This little book shall tell my
     name/ When I am quite forgotten./ Jeannie Rodger is my
     name;/ Dundee is my nation;/ Heaven is my dwelling-
     place/ And holy habitation.
     Cf. White Paternoster, etc.; FSJ pt. 22, 86-89.

MS
oct97
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