A blacksmith courted me, nine months and better.
He fairly won my heart, wrote me a letter.
With his hammer in his hand, he looked so clever,
And if I was with my love, I'd live forever.
And where is my love gone, with his cheek like roses,
And his good black billycock on, decked with primroses?
I'm afraid the scorching sun will shine and burn his beauty,
And if I was with my love, I'd do my duty.
Strange news is come to town, strange news is carried,
Strange news flies up and down that my love is married.
I wish them both much joy, though they don't hear me
And may God reward him well for the slighting of me.
'What did you promise when you sat beside me?
You said you would marry me, and not deny me.'
'If I said I'd marry you, it was only for to try you,
So bring your witness, love, and I'll never deny you.'
'Oh, witness have I none save God Almighty.
And He'll reward you well for slighting of me.'
Her lips grew pale and white, it made her poor heart tremble
To think she loved one, and he proved deceitful.
Sung by Mrs. Powell, nr Weobley, Herefordshire (R.V.W. 1909)
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The Blacksmith (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)