The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161176   Message #3828099
Posted By: Richie
22-Dec-16 - 03:05 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Died for Love: Sources and variants
Subject: RE: Origins: Died for Love: Sources and variants

Here's The Rambling Boy from a chapbook by J & M Robertson, Saltmarket, Glasgow; printed 1799 and 1803. It also has "Answer to Rambling Boy" which I'll post separately. See also "An Excellent Garland" Manchester printed by G. Swindells dated 1800. This version is much older (some prints date c. 1750) and better than the Pitts version posted earlier.


I am a rake and a rambling boy.
I'm lately come from Auchnacloy;
A rambling boy although I be,
I'll forsake them all and go with thee.

My father promis'd me houses and land.
If I would be at his command;
At his command, love, I ne'er will be ;
I'll forsake them all love and go with thee.

For houses and land they are but a plot,
Houses and land I do value not;
For houses and garden I will provide,
And have my darling down by my side.

Well doth he know I can shape and few,
Well doth he know I can bake and brew,
I can wash his linen and dress them fine.
And yet lie's gone and left me behind.

O Willie Baillie ye told me lies,
You'd build me castles up to the skies,
And every river should have a brigg,
And every finger a fine gold ring.

O Billy, Billy, I love thee well,
I love thee better than tongue can tell,
I love thee well though I dare not show it,
My dearest dear, let no man know it.

I wish I were a black-bird or thrush,
Singing my notes from bush to bush;
That all the world might plainly fee,
I lov'd a man, and he lov'd not me.

Or was I, but a silly fly,
In my love's bosom then would I lie.
When all the world was fall asleep,
In my love's bosom then would I creep.

My love he came late in the night,
Seeking for his sweet-heart's delight;
He ran up stairs, the door he broke,
And found his love all in a rope.

Then he went up and cut her down,
And in her bosom a note was found,
Wrote in shining letters to bright,
Enough a mortal's heart to break.

"Go dig my grave both wide and deep,
And cover it with a marble stone;
And in the middle a turtle dove,
To show the world that I dy'd for love."

Tis not for gold that I lie here,
Nor yet for jewels, know my dear;
But it is for that sweet Irish boy,
That has caused my sad destiny.