Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Pretty Bessy Milkmaid

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Pretty Bessy Milkmaid

Pretty Bessy Milkmaid

A squire and his sister
They sat in a hall
As they were singing
Some sad, mournful song,
Pretty Betsey, the milkmaid
Came tripping along.

"Do you want any new milk?"
Pretty Betsey she said
"Oh yes," said young squire,
"Step ye in, pretty maid
And set ye down by me,
And my bride I will make you,
And soon it shall be.

"Oh, it's hold your tongue, squire,
And let me go free,
And don't make such game
Of my sad poverty.
There are ladies passing
More fitting than me.

"I am just a poor milkmaid
Brought up on a cow."
The ring from his finger
He give it thereon,
And straight through the middle
He broke it in two.

One half he gave to Betsey,
As I have been told;
So they both went a-walking
Down the blackberry fold.
The squire said to Betsey,
"Let me have my will

"And constant remaining
With your fair body,
And if you deny me
in this wide open field
Oh, my dear, I will force you
Against your own will."

With huggling and struggling
Pretty Betsey got free,
And with her sharp scissors
She pierced his body.
She pierced his fair body
Till the blood did flow;
Straight to her master
Like lightning did go.

Straight home to her master
With tears in her eyes,
"I've wounded your young squire;
In danger he lies.
It was on my fair body
He began to prove bold;
So I left him bleeding
Down blackberry fold."

The cab was sent for,
And the squire brought home.
And also 2 doctors
To heal up his wounds.
His wounds were healed
And as always cured.

So they sent for pretty Betsey,
The charming milkmaid
The parson was sent for
And this couple joined,
And soon they enjoyed
Their new married life.

About 6 years after
The young squire died
And left me two babies
To lie by my side.
So it's better to be honest,
If you're ever so poor.
So he made me his lady
because I was poor.

DT #831
Laws O10
From Neely and Spargo
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III