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boldreynard Lyr Req: Tony Rose's George Collins (5) RE: Lyr Req: Tony Rose'S George Collins 21 Nov 03

Unfortunately Tony Rose didn't list his sources for any of the songs on Bare Bones.
The tune and most of the words are quite close to those sung by Enos White on the Topic Voice of the People anthology "O'er his grave the grass grew green". Mr White was recorded by Bob Copper in Axford, Hampshire in July 1955. His lyrics are as follows ( changes in brackets according to the sleeve notes):

George Collins walked out [one] May morning
When May was all in bloom
[And there he saw the] fair pretty maid
[A-]washing her [white] marble stone

[She] whooped, [she] hollered, [she called so loud],
[She waved] her lilywhite hands
Come hither to me, George Collins -[ she said]
For your life [it won't] not last you long

[He put his benbow down on the bankside
And across the river he sprung.
He clips his hands] 'round [her] middle so small
[And] kissed her red ruby cheeks

George Collins rode home to his father's own [house
And he knocked at the ring.
"Arise, arise, dear Father," he cried
"Arise and let me in."

"Arise, arise, dear Mother," he cried,
Arise and shake up] my bed
[Arise, arise, dear sister," he cried,
"Get] a napkin to tie 'round my head

For if I should die this night
{Which] I suppose I shall
[You] bury me under [that white] marble stone
That [leads from] fair [Ellender's home."]

Fair [Ellender] sat in her [hall one day
A-weaving her silk so fine]
She saw the finest corpse a-coming
That ever [her eyes] shone on

[Fair Ellender] said unto her head maid:
Whose corpse is this so fine? -
[She made a reply, "George Collins's corpse
An old true lover] of thine."

[Oh put him down, my little brave boy]
And open [his] coffin so wide
That I might kiss George Collins's cheek
For] thousand times [he has] kissed mine

[Rose's next verse is absent]

[This] news [being] carried to fair London town,
[And] wrote on [London gates]:
[There was] six pretty maids died all in one night
['Twas] all for George Collins's sake

Hope this is of interest.

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