Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

A Collection of 200+ traditional songs & variations with commentaries including Lyrics & Sheet music

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Unhappy Love
(Lady Alice, Child, No. 85)
This text is a fragment very similar to other American fragments of a fine old ballad represented in Child (II, 279-280) by two versions which bear some slight resemblance to the Michigan form. Although there is only a hint of similarity between the Michigan text and the forms printed by Child, many versions of "Lady Alice" ("Giles Collins") contain one stanza almost identical with stanza 1 of the Michigan version. See Cox, No. 17, C and D; Davis, No. 25, C, D, E, F, and G; Hudson, JAFL, XXXIX, 104 and 148-149; Sharp, No. 25, A, B, and C, and No 114, and Smith, pp 142-143 Stanza 2 of the Michigan text is similar to Campbell and Sharp, pp 286-287, Henry, JAFL, XLV, 77-78; and Kittredge, JAFL, XXX, 340, text I. For additional references see sources just mentioned and Henry, pp. 175-176; Kittredge, JAFL, XXX, 317-318, and Scar­borough, pp. 117-122.
The present version was sung in 1931 by Miss Mabel Tuggle, Detroit, who had learned the song ten years earlier, during her childhood in Concord Depot, Virginia.
1    O see that pure and snow-white dove That sits in yonder pine;
He's mourning for his own true love. Why can't I mourn for mine?
2    Go dig my grave; go dig it deep;
Place a marble stone at my head and feet; And on my breast a lily-white dove To show to the world I died for love.

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