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(Holly Tanen)

O once I was a folksinger
I was so meek and mild
I whiled away the hours
Singing ballads out of Child.

I sang the one about the maid
Whose skin was lily-white
She met a handsome lad who fell
In love with her on sight.

One day she up and died and then
Her true love did expire.
You know the rest- above her breast
A rose grew round the briar.

But then I met a folklorist
And he said unto me
O how do you account for
That song's popularity?

I learned it from my Mother, sir
As she lay on her bed
Eating chocolate ice cream cones
And giving Father head.

She said that she was dying, sir
Her life of sin was wrong.
And with her final gasp she sang
The words to this here song.

I sang her song in Nashville
I sang it in  LA
And everywhere I sang it
People came to hear me play.

But when I sang it in New York
A man came up to me
Sayin', how would you like to record
For my own company?

I made a record of the song
My Mother sang to me
My record climbed to Number One
Throughout the whole country.

The profits and the  royalties
They all accrue to me
And that,  dear sir, accounts
For this song's popularity.
     (At least with me.)

 from the singing of Almeda "Granny" Smith
To the tune of Star of the County Down (or any good tune)

copyright Holly Tannen 1994

All rites reversed.
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