Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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538                                  ENGLISH BONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
BARBARA ALLEN.
Under this name, the English and Scotch have each a ballad, with their respective tunes. Both ballads are printed in Percy's Beliques of Ancient Poetry, and a comparison will shew that there is no similarity in the music. It has been suggested that for " Scarlet" town, the scene of the ballad, we should read "Carlisle" town. Some of the later printed copies have "Reading" town.
In the Douce Collection there is a different ballad under this title,—a New­castle edition, without date.
Goldsmith, in his third Essay, says, " The music of the finest singer is dissonance to what I felt when our old dairy-maid sung me into tears with Johnny Armstrong's Last Good Night, or The Gruelty of Barbara Allen,"
A black-letter copy of this ballad, in the Roxburghe Collection, ii. 25, is entitled " Barbara Allen's Cruelty; or, The Young Man's Tragedy: With Barbara Allen's Lamentation for her unkindness to her Lover and herself. To the tune of Barbara Allen," Printed for P. Brooksby, J. Deacon, J. Blare, and J. Back.
The following is the version printed by Percy: the tune from tradition, and scarcely one is better known:—
All in the merry month of May,
When green buds they were swellin',
Young Jemmy Grove on his death-bed lay, For love of Barbara Allen.
•He sent his man unto her then,
To the town where she was dwellin'; You must come to my master dear, Giff your name be Barbara Allen.
For death is printed on his face,
And o'er his heart is stealin'; Then haste away to comfort him,
O lovely Barbara Allen.
Though death be printed on his face, And o'er his heart is stealin',
Yet little better shall he be For bonny Barbara Allen.
So slowly, slowly, she came up, And slowly she came nigh him ;
And all she said, when there she came, Young man, I think you're dying.
He turn'd his face unto her straight, With deadly sorrow sighing;
O lovely maid, come pity me, I'm on my death-bed lying.







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