Folksongs aren't meant to be cheerful. When you're feeling good you just get on with it. It's only when you're revolution's failed, your hero's been hanged, your lover's left you or the train has left you behind that you write songs about it.
That said, I used occasionally to give audiences a little relief with a thing called 'The Poor Young Girl'. I admit with shame that I can't recall the writer. iT went to the tune of 'The Poor Young Boy', thiswise:
Oh, there was a poor young girl
Who left her country home
And went into the city to seek employment.
She was forced to leave her home
Because the wolf was at the door,
And her father had fallen down and hurt his knee.
BNefore she went to the city,
Her sweetheart (whose name was Jack)
Said, 'When you're in the city I fear you'll not be true to me',
So before she boarded the train,
She had to faithfully promise him,
That every night at eight o,clock she would burst into tears.
She arrived in the city
And she was riding upon an omnibus,
When a gentleman got up to offer her his seat.
She refused his offer with scorn,
Because she saw that he wore a ring
And she did not know if he might be a married man.
Then up sprang the Conductor,
Saying, 'I knew you would be true!'
And tore off his false whiskers and it was Jack,
And that day she got a letter
To say her father's knee was much, much better,
And her Aunt had died and left her about fifty-eight million pounds.
Now, isn't that the happiest ending you ever heard of?