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A Negro version of Barbara Allan, from Virginia, was sent to me by Professor C. Alphonso Smith. I had wondered if the Negroes had failed to appreciate and appropriate this most familiar and beloved of all the ballads, and so I was pleased at this contribution. This is sung in Albemarle, Wythe, and Campbell Counties, Virginia.
In London town, whar I was raised,
Dar war a youth a-dwellm', He fell in love wid a putty fair maid,
Her name 'twar Bob-ree Allin.
He 00'ted her for seben long years;
She said she would not marry; Poor Willie went home and war takin' sick,
And ve'y likely died.
He den sen' out his waitin' boy
Wid a note for Bob-ree Allin. So close, ah, she read, so slow, ah, she walk;
"Go tell him I'm a-comin'."
She den step up into his room.
And stood an' looked upon him. He stretched to her his pale white hands;
"Oh, won't you tell me howdy?"
"Have you forgot de udder day, When we war in de pawlor, You drank your health to de gals around, And slighted Bob-ree Allin?"
"Oh, no; oh, no my dear young miss; I think you is mistaking; Ef I drank my healt' to de gals around, 'Twar love for Bob-ree Allin."
"An' now I'm sick and ve'y sick, An' on my deathbed lyin', One kiss or two fum you, my dear, Would take away dis dyin'."
"Dat kiss or two you will not git, Not ef your heart was breakin'; I cannot keep you from death, So farewell," said Bob-ree Allin.
He tu'n his pale face to de wall,
An' den began er cryin'; An' every tear he shed appeared
Hard-hearted Bob-ree Allin.

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