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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Brewster: Ballads and Songs of Indiana           257
Two texts, both incomplete, of this song have been found in Indiana. Each is known to the contributor as "The Romish Lady."
The song is mentioned, under the title "The Death of a Romish Lady," in Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, 1613, where the opening line is given as "It was a lady's daughter of Paris properly."
For other American texts, see Hudson, Folksongs, p. 137; Jackson, White Spirituals from the Southern Uplands, p. 188; Pound, No. 25; and Scarborough, Song Catcher, p. 176. There is a good English broadside ver­sion in The Roxburghe Ballads, I, 43.
"The Romish Lady." Contributed by Mrs. Mary J. Shriver, of East St. Louis, Illinois. Learned in Warrick County, Indiana. January 24, 1936.
1.     There lived a Romish lady,
Brought up in Popery; Her mother always taught her The priest she must obey.
2.   "O pardon me, dear mother,
I humbly pray thee now, For unto these false idols I can no longer bow."
3.     Assisted by her handmaid,
Her Bible she concealed, And there she gained instruction Till God his love revealed.
(A stanza here about the stealing of the Bible)
4.   "I'll bow to my dear Jesus
And worship him unseen, And work by faith unfailing; The works of men are vain.
5.   "I can not worship idols
Nor pictures made by men; Dear mother, use your pleasure, But pardon if you can/*

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