Mudcat Café message #1901200 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #96947   Message #1901200
Posted By: The Borchester Echo
05-Dec-06 - 09:05 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Barbara Allen (from Phoebe Smith)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 2nd word of Phoebe Smith's barbara Allen
I haven't heard the Phoebe Smith tape. I don't suppose this helps, but as the song is one of the most widespread and thus most collected, just WHERE it was you sing doesn't matter an awful lot. I've been quite taken with the text from Jim & Francis Gray in 1906:

In Scotland I was born and bred,
In Scotland I was dwelling,
when a young man on his deathbed lay
For the sake of barb'rous Allen

but not particularly convinced by another from Bronson:

In Reading town, where I was born,
There was a fair maid dwelling,
Made every youth cry well-a-day
Her name was Barbara Allen

erm . . . Reading? I know it's particularly beloved to Nancy Kerr, but . . .

Scarlett is a pretty good compromise, I'd say.