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Dens of Ireland

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The Dens of Ireland

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The Dens of Ireland

You can have the dens of old Ireland,
Come listen to my rhyme,
It's all about a gentleman,
A gentleman's crime.

One day while out a-sporting,
By chanceth he killed a man,
And to the Section House was brought
Till his trial did come on.

Onto the Section House was brought
Till his trial did come on;
There he was to answer
For what had passed and gone.

There was a store of gold, we hear,
That was offered for his life,
But nothing could pay the debt
But his own precious life.

There was a wealthy servant maid
That lived in a town nearby;
She says unto her misteress,
"His 'sizes I will try."

She says unto her misteress,
"His 'sizes I will try,
And with my skill and cunningness,
This day I'll grant him free!"

When she came before the judge,
Surprising to them all,
Modestly, courageously,
Down on her knees did fall.

Lifting up her hand to God,
And unto the judge did say,
"For God's sakes, judge, have pity
On a poor, forlorn young maid!

"For God's sakes, judge, have pity
On a poor, forlorn young maid!"
"How can I have pity
Onto a poor, forlorn young maid?"

"Your love has done such heinous crime,
Nothing on earth can him save;
You must go home and mourn alone,
He's ready for his grave!"

"Judge  oh judge, for God's sakes, judge,
Don't say no such to me:
Take my life for his life,
And let my love go free."

"Take my life for his life,
And let my love go free,
Or else [in] some woeful manner
I'll die as well as he!"

"You keep God in your rememberance,
And the better you will be:
For all the crimes he ever done,
This day I'll grant him free!"

"Now will you give me gold," she says,
"Or will you give me fee,
Or will you have my whole body,
Since the judge has set you free?"

"I will have your whole body,
And I shall forevermore,
For of all the maids I ever knew,
You're the girl that I adore."

Note: "You can have the dens of Ireland" seems to have been folk-processed
     from "Ye inhabitants of Ireland" RG
From Folk Songs of the Catskills, Cazden Haufrecht and Studer
Collected from George Edwards
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III