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196 Indiana University Publications, Folklore Series
33 CHARMING BEAUTY BRIGHT
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.