The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #40682   Message #585260
Posted By: masato sakurai
03-Nov-01 - 07:00 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Bobby Allen (Afro-American)
Subject: Lyr Add: BOB-REE ALLIN
Another African-American version (sung in Albemarle, Wythe, and Campbell Counties, Virginia).

BOB-REE ALLIN

In London town, whar I was raised,
Dar war a youth a-dwellin',
He fell in love wid a putty fair maid,
Her name 't war Bob-ree Allin.

He co'ted her for seben long years;
She said she would not marry;
Poor Willie went home and war takin' sick,
And ve'y likely died.

He den sen' out his waitin' boy
Wid a note for Bob-ree Allin.
So close, ah, she read, so slow, ah, she walk;
"Go tell him I'm a-comin'."

She den step up into his room.
And stood an' looked upon him.
He stretched to her his pale white hands;
"Oh, won't you tell me howdy?"

"Have you forgot de udder day,
When we war on de pawlor,
You drank your health to de gals around,
And slighted Bob-ree Allin?"

"Oh, no; oh, no--my dear young miss;
I think you is mistaking;
Ef I drank my healt' to de gals around,
'Twar love for Bob-ree Allin."

"An' now I'm sick and ve'y sick,
An' on my deathbed lyin',
One kiss or two fum you, my dear,
Would take away dis dyin'."

"Dat kiss or two you will not git,
Not ef your heart was breakin';
I cannot keep you from death,
So farewell," said Bob-ree Allin.

He tu'n his pale face to de wall,
An' den began er cryin';
An' every tear he shed appeared
Hard-hearted Bob-ree Allin.

She walked across de fiel's nex' day
An' heerd de birds a-singin',
An' every note dey seemed to say:
"Hard-hearted Bob-ree Allin."

She war walkin' 'cross de fiel' nex' day,
An' spied his pale corpse comin'.
"Oh, lay him down upon de groun',
An' let me look upon him."

As she war walkin' down de street
She heerd de death bells ringin',
An' every tone dey seemed to say:
"Hard-a-hearted Bob-ree Allin."

"Oh, fader, fader, dig-a my grave,
An' dig it long an' narrow;
My true love he have died to-day,
An' I must die to-morrow."

"Oh, mudder, mudder, make-a my s'roud
An' make it long and narrow;
Sweet Willie died of love for me
An' I must die to-morrow."

Sweet Willie war buried in de new churchyard,
An' Bob-ree Allin beside him.
Outen his grave sprang a putty red rose,
An' Bob-ree Allin's a briar.

Dey grew as high as de steeple top,
An' couldn't grow no higher,
An' den dey tied a true-love knot,
De sweet rose roun' de briar.

SOURCE: Dorothy Scarborough, On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs (1925; rpt. Folklore Associates, 1963, pp. 59-60, without tune).

~Masato