ON THE TRAIL OF NEGRO FOLK-SONGS

A Collection Of Negro Traditional & Folk Songs with Sheet Music Lyrics & Commentaries - online book

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$6                              NEGRO FOLK-SONGS
He had n't been gone but a year an' a day,
Strange countries for to see, When very strange thoughts came into his head
About his Lady Nancy-cy-cy,
About his Lady Nancy.
He rode an' he rode all a long summer day,
Till he came to London town. An' there he met a funeral,
An' the people a-moumin' around, round, round,
An' the people a-mournin' around.
"Oh, who is dead?" Lord Lovel he said, "Oh, who is dead?" said he. "It's my lord's lady," an old woman said, " Some call her the Lady Nancy-cy-cy, Some call her the Lady Nancy."
He ordered the bier to be opened wide, The shroud to be folded down.
An' then he kissed her clay-cold lips,
An' the tears they come trinklin' down, down, down, An' the tears they come trinklin' down.
Lady Nancy she died as it mought be to-day,
Lord Lovel he died to-morrow. Lady Nancy she dies outen pure, pure grief,
Lord Lovel he died outen sorrow-row-row,
Lord Lovel he died outen sorrow.
Lady Nancy they buried by the tall church spire,
Lord Lovel they buried beside her. And outen her bosom they grew a red rose,
And outen his 'n a brier-rier-rier,
And outen his 'n a brier.
They grew an' they grew to the tall steeple top,
An' there they could get no higher. An' there they entwined in a true lovers' knot,
Which all true lovers admire-rire-rire,
Which all true lovers admire.
Miss Lucy T. Latane reports a version entitled Lord Lovell and Lady Nancy Bell, which her mother and aunt learned from their Negro mammy in Louisa County, Virginia, in the forties.
A Negro version of the story of the Babes in the Wood was given to me by Talmadge Marsh, of Straight College, New Orleans, through the courtesy of Worth Tuttle Hedden. Talmadge says that