Barbara Allan

Original Text: 
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, ed. Francis James Child, 5 vols. (1884-1898; New York: Dover, 1965), II: 276-77 (84A), from Tea-Table Miscellany (1763): 343.
2  When the green leaves were a falling,
3That Sir John Græme, in the West Country,
4  Fell in love with Barbara Allan.
5He sent his men down through the town,
6  To the place where she was dwelling:
7."O haste and come to my master dear,
10  To the place where he was lying,
11And when she drew the curtain by,
12  ."Young man, I think you 're dying.."
13."O it 's I 'm sick, and very, very sick,
15."O the better for me ye 's never be,
18  ."When ye was in the tavern a drinking,
20  And slighted Barbara Allan?."
21He turnd his face unto the wall,
22  And death was with him dealing:
23."Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all,
24  And be kind to Barbara Allan.."
25And slowly, slowly raise she up,
26  And slowly, slowly left him,
27And sighing said, she coud not stay,
28  Since death of life had reft him.
30  When she heard the dead-bell ringing,
32  It cry'd, Woe to Barbara Allan!
33."O mother, mother, make my bed!
35Since my love died for me to-day,
36  I 'll die for him to-morrow.."

Notes

1] Martinmas: November 11, the feast of St. Martin. Back to Line
8] Gin: if. Back to Line
9] hooly: slowly. Back to Line
14] a': all. Back to Line
16] Tho: although. Back to Line
17] dinna: don't. Back to Line
19] gae: go. Back to Line
29] gane: gone. twa: two. Back to Line
31] jow: stroke. geid: gave. Back to Line
34] saft: soft. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1740
Publication Notes: 
First printed The Tea-Table Miscellany (1740): IV, 46.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2002
Rhyme: 
Form: