Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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Unhappy Love                         91
24 THE GREEN BEDS
This song is common in English broadsides. For a discussion of several songs with similar stories and of three texts of this song see Mackenzie, pp. 245-250 For references see Cox, pp. 390-391 See also Eddy, No. 27; Henry, JAFL, XLII, 290-292; Randolph, pp. 189-191; and Sharp, I, 365-368. For a song called "Jackson," which is a "survivor of the years of the War with Mexico" and which has the same story as this song but with changed setting and names, see Sandburg, pp. 430-431. Version A was sung in 1934 by Mrs. Eliza Youngs, Greenville.
A story, a story, a story well known
About a young sailor whose name it was John.
He made a wealthy voyage, and when he came on shore
He acted the part of a man that was poor.
"It is a good voyage, John, I hope you have made."
"O no, it's quite indifferent,
My fortune has proved false,
For in the briny ocean my ship and cargo's lost.
"Call down your daughter Polly and set her down by me; We'll drink melancholy and married we will be." "My daughter she is busy, John, she will not come to you; She says she won't credit you past one bowl or two."







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