The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38819   Message #3707786
Posted By: Jim Carroll
09-May-15 - 12:00 PM
Thread Name: Origins of: Barbara Allen, is there a story ?
Subject: Lyr Add: BARBARA ALLEN (from Caroline Hughes)
"Ewan & Peggy together. What I have is just solos."
Ewan and Peggy sang 3 versions between them on 'The long Harvest' - Peggy's was the one "she had known from childhood, but collated"
In his latter days, Ewan took to singing the one they recorded from the Dorset Gypsy, Caroline Hughes, slightly filled out - he was fascinated by the tune
Jim Carroll

These are the two version they got from English Travellers.

Barbry Ellen
from Caroline Hughes, Wareham, Dorset (1962)

O, in Reading Town where I was born,
There's a fair young lady dwelling;
I picked her out for to be my bride,
And her name was Barbry Ellen, Ellen,
And her name was Barbry Ellen.

Now, mother dear, you make up my bed,
You'll make it soft and easy;
That I might die for the sake of love,
And that she might die for sorrow, sorrow,
And that she might die for sorrow.

Now, mother dear, you'll look up over my head,
You'll see my gold watch standing;
There's my gold watch and my guinea gold ring,
Will you 'liver it to Barbry Ellen, Ellen?
Will you 'liver it to Barbry Ellen?

Now, mother dear, look at the side of my bed,
You'll see a bowl there standing,
It is full of tears that I've lost this night
For the loss of Barbry Ellen, Ellen,
For the loss of Barbry Ellen.

Now, as I were a-walking across the fields,
I met a corpse a-coming;
(O, you put down, my six young lambs)
(O, put him down, my six young lads?)
That I might well gaze on him, on him,
That I might well gaze on him.

While (strollily) I walked on, (strolled I, strolling there?)
I heard the (knell a-telling), (bell a-tolling?)
And as it tolled, O, it seemed to say :
'Hard-hearted Barbry Ellen, Ellen,
Hard-hearted Barbry Ellen!'

Burber Helan
From Nelson Ridley Wineham, Kent (1974)

It was in Ireland where I were borned,
I met a fair maid a-dwelling;
Young Johnny Rose, put on your clothes,
Young man, I think you're dying.

Look at the side of my bedside,
You'll find a vase a-standing;
There's a gay gold watch and a diamond ring,
That's left for Burber Helen.

O, clerky, clerky, dig me my grave,
And dig it long and narrow;
My true love died for me last night,
I'll die for her tomorrow.