For many years I have had bits of this song, and now a splendid version from George Dunn. His has three verses:
1. As I walked out one morning, down by a rushing stream,
Where the water lilies gambolled, it was a pleasant scene.
‘Twas there I spied a maiden, a maiden from the dell.
She was gathering watercresses. 'Twas Martha the watercress girl.
CHORUS: Her hair hung down in tresses,
Down by the stream that flows by the mill.
She was gathering watercresses,
Was Martha the watercress girl.
2. I asked if she was lonely. She answered with a smile:
Kind sir, I am not lonely, for here I daily toil.
I have to rise up early, my cresses for to sell.
My Christian name is Martha. They call me the watercress girl.
3. The day is not far distant when Martha will be mine,
And on our wedding morning, the weather will be fine.
I'll have to rise up early and dress up like an earl
To go and marry Martha, the sweet little watercress girl.
Anyone have any info on date/origin of the song...or any more verses?
I have also just found a version from Hampshire of the first two verses in a copy of The Countryman, where it's called 'The Watercress Queen'
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