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Printed by Kittredge in the Journal of American Folk-Lore, 1917, XXX, 284-285, with the tune; communicated in 1914 by Mr. E. Russell Davis, as remembered by his mother and himself from the singing of his grandather, Mr. William Henry Banks (born 1834), a vessel-owner of Maine. It is a variant of "The Elfin Knight" (Child, No. 2). The ballad is well known in England and in many parts of this country, as far south as Texas and as far west as California (see the Journal for details).
1 As I was a-walking up Strawberry Lane, —
Every rose grows merry and fine, — I chanced for to meet a pretty, fair maid, Who wanted to be1 a true-lover of mine.
2 "You'll have for to make me a cambric shirt, —
Every rose grows merry and fine, — And every stitch must be finicle work, Before you can be a true-lover of mine.
3 "You'll have for to wash it in a deep well, —
Every rose grows merry and fine, — Where water never was nor rain ever fell, Before you can be a true-lover of mine.,,
The man goes on to make several more conditions. Finally the girl turns on him thus:—•
4 . "Now, since you have been so hard with me, —
Every rose grows merry and fine, — Perhaps I can be as hard with thee, Before you can be a true-lover of mine.
1 Or "said she would be."