Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
Unhappy Love                         77
For references and a discussion of this song, which is found in several English broadsides of the early nineteenth century and which Belden notes is de­rived from the eighteenth-century broadside, "The Wittam Miller," see Belden, JAFL, XXV, ir; and Henry, JAFL, XLII, 247-253. See also Eddy, No. 125; Greenleaf and Mansfield, p. 119; Henry, JAFL, XLV, 125-130; Hudson, pp. 25-26; Scarborough, pp 159-164; and Sharp, I, 407-409.
Version A is from the manuscript of Mrs. Russell Wood, Kalkaska; she learned the song from her sister, Miss Lily Brown, who had memorized it about 1910 in Tawas City, Michigan.
1    I was born and raised in Knoxville, a place you all know well; I was born and raised in Knoxville, among the flowery dell.
I fell in love with a Knoxville girl, she had dark and roving eyes; I told her that I'd marry her if me she would never deny.
2   I told her that we would take a walk and view the meadows gay, And perhaps we would have a pleasant talk and appoint our
wedding day. We walked quite easily till we came to level ground; I drew a club from out the brush and knocked this fair maid
3   She fell upon her bending knees, "O Lord, have mercy," she
cried, "O Willie dear, don't murder me here, for I'm not prepared
to die." I paid no attention to what she said but beat her all the more, Until the ground which she lay on was in a bloody gore.
4   I took her by her curly locks; I dragged her round and round. I threw her into the water that ran through Knoxville town. "Lie there, lie there, he there, you Knoxville girl, my bride
you never shall be; Lie there, lie there, you Knoxville girl, you never will be tied to me."
5   I went into my mother's house about twelve o'clock at night; Mother being worried, woke up in a dreadful fright.

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