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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356 Indiana University Publications, Folklore Series
This song is a good example of the fidelity-test type. The hero, after having been away for a number of years at sea or in the wars, returns to his sweetheart. Either because of his having adopted a disguise or for some other reason, she fails to recognize him. He pretends to be a stranger, and attempts to supplant the supposedly absent lover in her affections. On find­ing that she is true, he reveals himself to her, and a happy reunion follows. Other songs of this type are "The Broken Token," "The Single Sailor," "The Banks of Claudie," "The Broken Ring," "Fair Phoebe and her Dark-eyed Sailor," "George Reilly," "The Sailor's Return," etc.
For other American texts, see Flanders and Brown, p. 150; Hudson, Folk-Songs, p. 153; Journal, XLV, 102; and Pound, No. 93.
Communicated by Mrs. H. M. Harden, of Oakland City, Indiana. Gibson County. Learned in Pike County about forty years ago from a cousin, Mr. Charles Colvin. May 22, 1935.
1.     The beggar tore off the patch from his eye
And dropped the crutch at his side; His cheeks red as roses and blooming with health, 'T was William that stood at her side.
2.   "Forgive me, kind miss, for what I have done;
'T was only your love that I tried; This very, very day to some church we will go, And I'll make little Mary my bride."

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