Ballads and Songs of Indiana - online book

A collection of 100 traditional folk songs with commentaries, historical info, lyrics & sheet music

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196 Indiana University Publications, Folklore Series
Only one text of "Charming Beauty Bright" has been recovered in this state. It is known by the contributor as "I Courted a Lady." The song is also known as "The Lover's Lament/' and sometimes begins: "Don't you remember last Friday night?" Professor Kittredge kindly writes me1: "Your 'I Courted a Lady* is a considerably changed version of 'Charming Beauty Bright.' The song is of long standing in America. My grand­mother (born in 1799) used to sing it to me when I was a child. Her version began—'Once I did court a fair beauty bright/ "
American texts are to be found in Campbell and Sharp, No. 57; Cox, p. 342; Journal, XXV, 2; XXVI, 176; XXVIII, 147; XXIX, 184 (Indiana) ; XXXV, 389; PTFLS, X, 158; Sharp, American-English Folk-Songs, p. 48; Scarborough, Song Catcher, p. 312 (air); Sturgis and Hughes, Songs from the Hills of Vermont, p. 22.
British: JFSS, II, 81 (fragment and air).
"I Courted a Lady." Contributed by Mrs. Olevia A. Montgomery, of Evansville, Indiana. Vanderburg County. February 25, 1935.
1.     I courted a lady; her beauty was so bright
(I courted her by day and I courted her by night); I courted for her love, and her love I did obtain ; Had I any reason of her to complain ?
2.     But then her cruel father he came for to see;
He locked her in her chamber and kept there (from me?). No, never nevermore could I get to see my dear;
No, never nevermore could I get to see my dear.
3.     Then to her father straightway did I go
To see if I could obtain my love or no; She answered from her window as she made me thus reply: "I love the boy that loves me, and I'll love him till I die."
4.     Then to the army straightway did I go
To see if I could forget my love or no; When I got there, my arms they shone so bright
I had a ready thought of my own heart's delight.
1 In a letter of April 10, 19SS.

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