Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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Happy Love                         167
60 PRETTY POLLY OLIVER
This is a popular English broadside song. For a text and references see Cox, pp. 387-388. See also Gardner, pp. 205-206; Greenleaf and Mansfield, pp. 51-54; Mackenzie, p. 151; and Stout, p. 22. It is interesting to note that in Michigan B, Polly is a "new listed soldier under George Washington" rather than under the king, as in other texts. Version A was sung in 1934 by Mrs. Jim Fisher, near Kalkaska.
A
1    It was down in yonder lowlands a fair damsel did dwell Who was courted by a captain who loved her full well; But her cruel parents so cruel did prove
That they parted pretty Polly and her royal true love.
2    As Polly lie a-musing on her soft down bed, A comical fancy came into her head;
"O my cruel parents shan't make me false prove; I will dress in men's apparel and follow my love."
3    It was early next morning pretty Polly arose; She dressed herself up in a suit of men's clothes. She went to the stable and viewed the stage round, And there she found one that would travel the ground.
4    With a brace of bright pistols and a sword by her side On her father's gray horse like a trooper did ride; With her long yellow hair down her back it did hang
In her everyday's grace she looked like a man.
5    Pretty Polly rode up to the town of Renown, And there she put up at the sight of a crown. The first that she met was an Irish lord proved; The next that she met was her royal true love.
6    Pretty Polly from her pocket a letter she drew, Saying, "Here is a letter from Polly to you." Pretty Polly being weary, she hung down her head, And she called for a candle to light her to bed.
7    "O no," says the captain, "I've a bed at my ease, And you can lie with me, kind sir, if you please."







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