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For an in-depth discussion of this track, see the album notes: tinyurl[dot]com/V1NATnotes.


I’ll tell you about a brisk young farmer
Who was handsome and renowned.
He courted a fair, lovely maiden,
And her name was Molly Brown.

When his parents came to know this
They were angry and did say,
“We’ll send him across the widest ocean.
There he never will see her face.”

He sailed the ocean over and over,
Then came back to his native side.
Said, “If Molly is alive, and I can find her,
Oh, I’ll make her my lawful bride.”

It was early in the morning,
And he was walking down the street,
Thinking of his Molly darling,
When his true love he chanced to meet.

“It’s good morning, good morning, my pretty fair maiden.
Good morning, and could you ever fancy me?”
“No, my fancy’s on a brisk young farmer
Who’s gone sailing on the sea.”

“Describe him to me, my pretty fair maiden
Will you describe him unto me?
Perhaps I had a chance to see him;
I have lately crossed the sea.”

“Oh, he’s proper and he’s very handsome.
He’s all so slim and tall.
His hair is dark and very curly.
His pretty blue eyes the best of all.”

“I guess I saw him, and I know him
Would his name be William Hall?
I saw a cannonball shot through him,
And in death I saw him fall.”

Such screams, such screams from the pretty fair maiden,
Crying, “Alas, and what shall I do?
We were parted, both broken hearted.
Now my heart will break in two.”

“Cheer up, cheer up, my pretty fair maiden.
Cheer up, cheer up, for I am he.
Now to convince you of my story,
Here’s the ring you once gave me.”

They joined their loving hands together.
To the church they straight did go.
This young couple were lawfully married,
Whether the parents were willing or no.


from Survey of Traditional Music, Vol. 1: From British Tradition, released August 7, 2023
Recorded by Bill Nowlin, Carlisle, MA, 9/4/75.


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