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392 Ballads and Songs of Michigan
160 MY FATHER'S GRAY MARE
For references and texts see Kittredge, ]AFL, XXXV, 372, note, and Pound, No. 34. See also Eddy, No. 58; Flanders and Brown, pp. 62-64; and Greenleaf and Mansfield, pp. 59-60.
The present version was sung in 1934 by Mr. A. T. Heikes, Kalkaska, who learned the song in Windsor, Indiana.
i Young Roger the miller, who courted of late The farmer's fair daughter, called beautiful Kate; She had for her riches full fifty fine things; She wore on her fingers fine jewels and rings.
2 Her eyes were as bright as the diamonds above, And her cheeks like vermilion all painted with love; Then Roger being greedy, as I do declare;
He spied an old tacky they called the gray mare.
3 "And as for your daughter, I solemnly swear,
I won't have your daughter without tie gray mare." The money was soon hurried out of his sight, And so was Miss Katy, all his heart's delight.
4 Young Roger himself was kicked out of the door And ordered straightway to return never more. With sorrow he tore down his long yellow hair And wished that he'd never asked for the mare.
5 Six months now were ended, full gone and past, Young Roger he met with Miss Katy at last. Saying, "Katy, O Katy, why don't you know me?" "If I mistake not I've seen you," said she,
6 "Someone of your likeness with long yellow hair, Who once came a-courting my daddy's gray mare." "But since I have lost such a beautiful sum,
I'm really sorry for what I have done."
7 Saying, "As for your sorrow, I value it not; There's plenty young men in this world to be got. Besides, as I think, a man must be great in despair Just to marry a girl for the price of a mare."