THE GREY MARE
Young Roger the miller came courting of late,
To a rich merchant's daughter called beautiful Kate;
She had to her fortune fine jewels and rings
Diamonds and rubies and costly fine things.
This caus-ed young Roger for to tell his mind
If she would be constant, that he would be constant,
Both loving and kind.
When the match was made up and the money paid down,
Wasn't that a bright sight? About five thousand pound,
And yet and withal he did vow and declare
That he wouldn't take her without the grey mare,
Saying, "Although that your daughter is charming and fair,
I won't take your daughter, I shan't take your daughter
Without the grey mare."
Then out spoke her father and he spoke with speed,
Saying, "I thought you'd have married my daughter instead,
But since it's no better, I'm glad it's no worse,
The money once more shall return to my purse,
For it's enough to drive a man into despair
To lose his own daughter, to lose his own daughter
For the sake of a mare."
The money it then vanished out of his sight,
And so did Miss Katie, his joy and delight.
Young Roger was then shown the way to the door
Never again to come there any more,
Which caused him to tear his long yellow hair
And wish that he'd never, and wish that he'd never
Spoke of the grey mare.
About a year after or a little above,
Who did he meet but Miss Katie, his love.
Smiling, said Roger,"O, don't you know me?"
"If I'm not mistaken, I saw you," said she,
"Or a man in your apparel with long yellow hair
That once came a-courting, that once came a-courting
My father's grey mare."
"My dear," then said Roger, "but you are mista'en,
It was to yourself that a-courting I came,
But I thought your father without any dispute
Would give me his daughter and grey mare to boot,
Before he'd have lost such a charming young son,
But oh, I am sorry, but oh, I am sorry
For what I have done."
"As for your sorrow, I value it not.
There is men eneu' in this world to be got."
"It's enough to drive a man into despair
To lose his own darling for the sake of a mare."
"The price of the grey mare it was not so great.
So fare you well Roger, fare you well Roger,
Go mourn for your Kate."
From Songs of the People, Henry
Recorded by Peter Bellamy
@courtship @dowry @greed
TUNE FILE: GREYMARE
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Gay Jemmie, The Miller (from Vermont Folk-Songs and Ballads, Flanders & Brown, 1931)
Young Roger Esquire (from Peter Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland)