Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

Southern Appalachians songs with lyrics, commentary & some sheet music.

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Ballads and Songs
As this song was recorded under the title of "My Pretty Little Pink," it is given a place here1; but it is, of course, a mixture of several songs: stanza 2 is similar to a stanza in "Come, All You Fair and Tender Ladies" ("Little Sparrow"); stanza 3 is from "The True Lover's Farewell" (cf. Campbell and Sharp, No. 61, stanza 6); stanzas 4 and 5 are evidently recalled from "The Gypsy Laddie." The song was recorded in the Cumberland Mountains by Onelee Brooks, a student in Lincoln Memorial University.
1.  Sixteen roosters on a fence, All in a row;
There's wondering where their loves could be, And just where they must go.
2. Wish I had a needle and thread As fine as I could sew;
I'd take my true love to my side And down the road I'd go.
3. Do you see that turtle dove, Sitting in yonder pine ?
It's mourning for its own true love Just like I mourn for mine.
4. How old are you, my pretty little Pink ? How old are you, my honey ?
How old are you, my pretty little Pink ? I'll be sixteen next Saturday.
5. Will you marry me, my pretty little Pink ? Will you marry me, my honey ?
Will you marry me, my pretty litde Pink? I'll marry you next Sunday.
1 Mrs. Fannie Hardy Eckstorm sent the following interesting comment on songs of this class: "Songs of this kind can not be placed with any certainty. They arc what we call 'fluid ballads/ still in the making and exceptionally unstable, altered at any time by anybody. Some of them are composed of fragments belonging to half a dozen songs which ordinarily are semi-stable—songs that we can name with some expectation that others may recognize them by title, though the contents vary much."

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III