Collected by Bob Copper from a book left by John Johnson (right), 1865-1943, in Fittleworth, Sussex in about 1954: see Chapter Nine, pp. 83-9, of Songs and Southern Breezes for the details; and the appendix for these words. The photo of John Johnson at his garden date is credited to George Garland of Petworth (West Sussex). Click on the photo for a much larger one (also by George Garland, and which might have been taken around 1940) of John Johnson and his wife on their golden wedding anniversary.
Now Betty Miles and Johnny Sands were married hand in hand,
But they lived a most unhappy life, as you will understand.
As you will understand.
He says, My love, I'm tired of life and wish to drown myself.
You silly elf, why don't you then? I've wished it long ago.
I've wished it long ago.
But for fear that I should courage lack and try to save my life,
Pray tie my hands behind my back. I will, replies his wife.
I will, replies his wife.
Now all down the hill this loving bride she runs with all her force,
To push him in - he steps aside and she goes in, of course.
And she goes in of course.
Then splashing, dashing like a fish, Oh save me, Johnny Sands.
I can't my love, though much I'd wish, for you have tied my hands.
For you have tied my hands.
Sheet music and another version isHere.
Either of these the right one?
(If it's already here, I didn't find it)