Mudcat Café message #1114576 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19122   Message #1114576
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
11-Feb-04 - 10:57 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (different versions)
Subject: Lyr Add: BARBARA ALLEN (from Rob Brown, Texas)
Several versions of "Barbara Allen" have been collected in the western U. S.; Art Thieme's would make a fine addition.

The song was collected from Bob Brown who lived at the edge of the Big Thicket (Texas) by William A. Owens.

Lyr. Add: Barbara Allen (Texas)

In Scarlet town where I was born
There was a fair maid dwelling,
Made every youth cry, "Way-la-way,
Oh, here comes Barbara Allen."

'Twas in the merry month of May,
The green buds were a-swelling,
Sweet William on his deathbed lay
For the love of Barbara Allen.

They sent a servant to the town
Where Barbara was a-dwelling,
Saying, "Rise, oh, rise you up and go
If your name be Barbara Allen."

Ao slowly, slowly she rose up,
And slowly she came nigh him,
And these the words she said to him
Was, "Young man, I think you're dying."

Oh, yes, I'm sick and very sick,
And death is on me dwelling,
And one sweet kiss would comfort me
From the lips of Barbara Allen."

"Oh, yes, you're sick and very sick,
And death is on you dwelling,
But one sweet kiss you never will have
From the lips of Barbara Allen.

"Oh, don't you remember on a wedding night
When we were at the tavern,
You drank a health to the ladies round,
But you slighted Barbara Allen?"

"Oh, yes, I remember on a wedding night
When we were at the tavern,
I drank a health to the ladies round,
But my heart was barbara Allen."

He turned his face to the pale cold wall,
And death was on him dwelling:
"Farewell, farewell to all false maids,
And woe to barbara Allen."

When she was walking in the field
She heard the death bell knelling,
And every toll, it seemed to say,
:Hard-hearted Barbara Allen."

She looked to the east, she looked to the west,
And she saw the cold corpse coming
"Lay down, lay down that cold, cold corpse
That I may gaze upon him."

The more she looked, the more she mourned
Till she fell to the ground a-crying,
Saying, "Pick me up and carry me home,
For I am now a-dying.

"Oh, mother, mother, go make my shroud,
Go make it long and narrow;
Sweet William died for me today,
I'll die for him tomorrow.

"Oh, father, father, go dig my grave,
Go dig it long and narrow
Sweet William died for me for love,
I'll die for him for sorrow."

They buried her in the lone church yard,
Sweet William lay a-nigh her,
And out of his grave grew a red, red rose,
And out of hers grew a briar.

They climbed, they climbed, to the tall church top,
Till they could go no higher,
And there they tied in a true lover's knot,
The rose wrapped around the briar.

In 1927, L. D. Bertillion, Mineola, TX, wrote to J. Frank Dobie. The following is a short extract:
About 38 or 40 years ago a bunch of our most up to date people of the cowhorse region- at Youngsport, Tex.- on the Lampasas River in Bell Co., Tex. met for a little sociable of some kind, and the entertainment features being slim some one suggested [new] songs, to which all eagerly agreed,....It came time for Mr. Abe Richards to sing. So he was one of those unabashed self important cow punchers from way up the cow house. .... He removed both spurs in order not to scar the floor, turned down an old-fashioned rawhide chair for a head prop." He sang barbara Allen. "Now then I confess it was new to me, and a number of others considered Mr. Richards rather up to date in music, and all would have been well save for the fact that one or two of the audience remembered their grandmothers sing the song, and I believe it was a favorite cowboy song in Texas before the pale faces became thick enough to make the Indians consider a massacre worth while...."