Bonny Barbara Allen

No: 84; variant: 84B

  1. IN SCARLET TOWN, where I was bound, There was a fair maid dwelling, Whom I had chosen to be my own, And her name it was Barbara Allen.
  2. All in the merry month of May, When green leaves they was springing, This young man on his death-bed lay, For the love of Barbara Allen.
  3. He sent his man unto her then, To the town where she was dwelling: ‘You must come to my master dear, If your name be Barbara Allen.
  4. ‘For death is printed in his face, And sorrow’s in him dwelling, And you must come to my master dear, If your name be Barbara Allen.’
  5. ‘If death be printed in his face, And sorrow’s in him dwelling, Then little better shall he be For bonny Barbara Allen.’
  6. So slowly, slowly she got up, And so slowly she came to him, And all she said when she came there, Young man, I think you are a dying.
  7. He turnd his face unto her then: ‘If you be Barbara Allen, My dear,’ said he, ‘Come pitty me, As on my death-bed I am lying.’
  8. ‘If on your death-bed you be lying, What is that to Barbara Allen? I cannot keep you from [your] death; So farewell,’ said Barbara Allen.
  9. He turnd his face unto the wall, And death came creeping to him: ‘Then adieu, adieu, and adieu to all, And adieu to Barbara Allen!’
  10. And as she was walking on a day, She heard the bell a ringing, And it did seem to ring to her ‘Unworthy Barbara Allen.’
  11. She turnd herself round about, And she spy’d the corps a coming: ‘Lay down, lay down the corps of clay, That I may look upon him.’
  12. And all the while she looked on, So loudly she lay laughing, While all her friends cry’d [out] amain, So loudly she lay laughing, While all her friends cry’d [out] amain, ‘Unworthy Barbara Allen!’
  13. When he was dead, and laid in grave, Then death came creeping to she: ‘O mother, mother, make my bed, For his death hath quite undone me.
  14. ‘A hard-hearted creature that I was, To slight one that lovd me so dearly; I wish I had been more kinder to him, The time of his life when he was near me.’
  15. So this maid she then did dye, And desired to be buried by him, And repented her self before she dy’d, That ever she did deny him.