The Green Brier Shore
I am a lovely ladder* and I can love long
I can love an old sweetheart till another one comes on;
I'll hug them and kiss them and keep them at ease
I'll turn my back upon them and court who I please.
At the foot of yon mountain, where fountains do flow,
Where green and wild lilies forever do grow,
I spied a fair damsel and her I adore;
I was forced to go and see her on the green brier shore.
I courted that damsel through love and good-will,
I courted that damsel, it witnessed to kill;
I courted that damsel full six months or more;
I was forced to go leave her on the green brier shore.
I had not been gone long till a letter was sent;
In the midst of that letter these few words were spelled:
Come back my own true love, it's you I adore,
And I will go with you from the green brier shore.
And when her old parents came this for to hear,
They swore they'd deprive her of her own dearest dear.
They selected an army, full twenty or more,
To fight her own true love on the green brier shore.
He drew his sword and pistol, they glistened around;
In a short length of time they fell to the ground.
Some he killed dead, and he wounded a score,
And he gained his own true love on the green brier shore.
So hard is the fortune of poor womankind;
They are always subjected and always confined,
And controlled by their parents till they are made wives,
Then they slave for their husbands all the rest of their lives.
From English Folk Songs in the Southern Appalachians, Sharp
Collected from Mrs. William C. Wooton, KY, 1917