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Well Below the Valley

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The Well Below the Valley

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The Well Below the Valley

A gentleman was passing by
He asked for a drink as he got dry
        At the well below the valley-o
        Green grows the lily-o
        Right among the bushes-o

"Me cup is full unto the brim
If I were to stoop I might fall in"

"If your true love was passing by
You'd fill him a drink as he got dry"

She swore by grass, she swore by corn
That her true love had never been born

He said "Young maid, you swear in wrong
For six children you had born"
"If you be a man of noble fame
You'll tell to me the father of them"

"There's two of them by your uncle Dan"

"Another two by your brother John"

"Another two by your father dear"

"If you be a man of noble esteem
You'll tell to me what did happen to them"

"There's two buried 'neath the stable door"

"Another two near the kitchen door"

"Another two buried beneath the wall"

"If you be a man of noble fame
You'll tell to me what will happen to mysel' "

"You'll be seven years a-ringing the bell"

"You'll be seven more a-porting in hell"

"I'll be seven years a-ringing the bell
But the Lord above may save me soul from porting in hell.
Child #21

recorded by Planxty on "The Well Below The Valley" (1973)

"(This song) had never been collected from oral tradition
Ireland until Tom Munnelly heard John Reilly of Boyle, Co.
it. Other versions of the song appear in Child's collectio
From these it is apparent that the story is based on the
at the Well. Tom Munnelly tells us that many older singers
(avoid?) the song because of its sinister, incestuous
overtones" -

The tune is basically a fast bodhran rhythm which allows to switch
between two lines and one line per verse effortlessly. MJ
Download the song in PDF format Download the song in RTF format for editing etc.

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