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Origins: I Never Will Marry

DigiTrad:
CONSTANT LOVERS
I NEVER WILL MARRY


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Unaccompanied song - Constant Lovers (11)
Origins: Constant Lovers (13)
Chord Req: Constant lovers (24)


jaallen@pen.K12.va.us 13 Jan 97 - 06:08 PM
Ian 13 Jan 97 - 06:19 PM
cpw@giga.com.pl 14 Jan 97 - 02:48 AM
jaallen@pen.K12.va.us 14 Jan 97 - 08:16 PM
Swordravenstar 02 Jan 05 - 12:24 PM
Peace 02 Jan 05 - 01:13 PM
mandotim 02 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM
Alaska Mike 02 Jan 05 - 02:19 PM
jaze 02 Jan 05 - 04:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jan 05 - 05:07 PM
Rapparee 02 Jan 05 - 05:40 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Jan 05 - 05:57 PM
SINSULL 02 Jan 05 - 05:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Jan 05 - 06:10 PM
Sandra in Sydney 03 Jan 05 - 06:39 AM
Flash Company 03 Jan 05 - 10:02 AM
Tannywheeler 03 Jan 05 - 04:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 05 - 04:27 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Jan 05 - 06:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 05 - 07:48 PM
masato sakurai 03 Jan 05 - 08:55 PM
Swordravenstar 04 Jan 05 - 05:11 PM
Coyote Breath 05 Jan 05 - 12:48 AM
John Minear 05 Jan 05 - 09:12 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 05 Jan 05 - 10:57 AM
Inükshük 05 Jan 05 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,AwGeesGirl 11 Oct 08 - 11:03 PM
cptsnapper 12 Oct 08 - 01:06 AM
GUEST 12 Oct 08 - 05:56 PM
Zany Mouse 12 Oct 08 - 07:49 PM
Charley Noble 12 Oct 08 - 08:37 PM
Amos 08 Mar 16 - 06:53 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Mar 16 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Oz Childs 17 May 17 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Desi C 18 May 17 - 10:52 AM
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Subject: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: jaallen@pen.K12.va.us
Date: 13 Jan 97 - 06:08 PM

Does anyone know the words to a song that goes like this: I never will marry, I'll be no man's wife, I expect to live single the rest of my life. I need the rest of the words. Someone has recently done this and recorded it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I NEVER WILL MARRY
From: Ian
Date: 13 Jan 97 - 06:19 PM

Sure, Try this. Enjoy! - Ian O'Donnell
---------
I NEVER WILL MARRY

I never will marry. I'll be no man's wife.
I intend to stay single for the rest of my life.

One day as I rambled down by the sea shore,
The wind it did whistle and the waters did roar.

I heard a poor maiden make a pitiful cry.
She sounded so lonesome at the waters nearby.

I never will marry. I'll be no man's wife.
I intend to stay single for the rest of my life.

The shells in the ocean will be my deathbed,
And the fish in the water swim over my head.

My love's gone and left me. He's the one I adore.
I never will see him, no never, no more.

She plunged her fair body in the water so deep.
She closed her pretty blue eyes in the water so deep.

I never will marry. I'll be no man's wife.
I intend to stay single for the rest of my life.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I NEVER WILL MARRY
From: cpw@giga.com.pl
Date: 14 Jan 97 - 02:48 AM

Hi,

Know slightly different version of this 19th century tune. I've included chords.

I NEVER WILL MARRY

CHORUS:
G D G C
I never will marry. I'll be no man's wife.
C G D G
I intend to stay single for the rest of my life.

One day as I rambled down by the sea shore,
The wind it did whistle and the waters did roar.

I heard a poor maiden make a pitiful cry.
She sounded so lonesome at the waters nearby. CHORUS

The shells in the ocean will be my deathbed,
And the fish in the ocean swim over my head.

My love's gone and left me. He's the one I adore.
I never will see him, no never, no more.

She plunged her fair body in the water so deep.
She closed her pretty blue eyes in the water to sleep. CHORUS

Regards


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: jaallen@pen.K12.va.us
Date: 14 Jan 97 - 08:16 PM

Thanks, Ian and cpw. That's just what I'm looking for. JA Allen


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Swordravenstar
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 12:24 PM

First of all I'd like to say hi, I just joined this forum and the site looks very good. I think I heard some of this song on "The Vicar of Dibley" on BBC 1 last night, its quite poignant and I wondered if any of u out there knew who the artist might be who made this particular recording. I searched the internet and came accross mention of a recording of this by Kristin Hersh, from her album "Murder, Misery and Goodnight". Im not familiar with her music tho. Is she the artist and do u think its worthwhile me investing in this album?

Cheers,

Swordravenstar


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Peace
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 01:13 PM

Welcome to the Mudcaty, Sword.

Bruce M


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: mandotim
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM

I heard the snippet on the Vicar of Dibley too; sounded like Linda Ronstadt/Dolly Parton/Emmylou Harris from the 'trio' album (I think). The top harmony was definitely Emmylou.
Tim


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Subject: Lyr Add: I NEVER WILL MARRY
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 02:19 PM

Here is a different version:

They say that love is a gentle thing,
But it only has caused me pain.
For the only girl I ever did love,
Has gone on that midnight train.

CHORUS: I never will marry, I'll take me no wife.
I expect to live single, all of my life.

The train pulled out and the whistle blew,
With a long and a lonesome moan,
She's gone, she's gone like the midnight dew,
Left me all alone.

(chorus)

There's many a change in the winter wind,
And a change in the cloud's design,
There's many a change in a young girl's heart,
But never a change in mine.

(chorus)


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: jaze
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 04:24 PM

Alaska Mike, that's the version I first heard on an Irish folk concert cd. It was done by a group called the Morrisseys. The girl singing lead has a great voice.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LOVER'S LAMENT FOR HER SAILOR
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 05:07 PM

There are several songs of this type. "I Will Never Marry" seems to have appeared in England as "The Lover's Lament for Her Sailor." Most versions end by the woman drowning herself. Several copies in the Bodleian Library, with date from ca. 1803- late 19th c. Here is one from ca. 1819-1844.

Lyr. Add: THE LOVER'S LAMENT FOR HER SAILOR

As I was walking along the seashore,
Where the breeze it blew cool, and the billows did round,
Where the wind and the waves and the waters run
I heard a shrill voice make a sorrowful sound.

Chorus:
Crying, O my love's gone, whom I do adore,
He's gone and I will never see him more.

I tarried awhile still listening near,
And heard her complain for the loss of her dear;
Which grieved me sadly to hear her complain
Crying, he is gone and I will never see him again.

She appeared like some goddess, and dressed like a queen,
She's the fairest of creatures that ever was seen.
I told her I'd marry her myself, if she pleas'd,
But the answer she made me, was my love is in the seas.

I never will marry nor be any man's bride,
I choose to live single, all the days of my life,
For the loss of my sailor I deeply deplore,
As he's lost in the seas I shall ne'er see him more.

I will go down to my dearest that lies in the deep
And with kind embraces I will him intreat,
I will kiss his cold lips like the coral so red,
I will close up his eyes that have been so long dead.

The shells of the oysters shall be my lover's bed,
And the shrimps of the sea shall swim over his head,
Then she plunged her fair body right into the deep,
And closed her fair eyes in the water to sleep.

Bodleian Collection, Harding B11(2238), ca. 1819-1844, printed by J. Pitts, London.

Belden printed a copy of "The Lover's Lament For Her Sailor" in his "Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society, 1940 (1973) coll. in 1906 (but "sung to my mother over forty years ago...") in Missouri, p. 167-168.

The Traditional Ballad Index lists the song as "I Never Will Marry."
Belden says "See Roxburghe Ballads IV 397, where the author describes it as a modern reproduction of "The Sorrowful Lady's Complaint," a broadside from the Roxburghe Collection.


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 05:40 PM

The version cited by Alaska Mike was the version which appeared on a Smothers Brothers album back in the (when else?) 1960s. Their rendition was hilarious.


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 05:57 PM

There's a fair bit of detail in previous threads on the subject, so I'll just add briefly that Roxburghe quotes (in part) Sam Cowell's music hall re-working of the song (Oh, my Love's Dead!), followed by The Sorrowful Ladie's Lament (c.1673), apparently a broadside expansion of the earlier Captain Digby's Farewell.

Examples found in oral currency have tended to contain elements of the Cowell redaction and of the broadside quoted above; further, there are links with what may have been an historical incident at Whitby. Steve Gardham has done some work on that.

I placed a list of links to other material here (including this old, now revived, thread) at Constant Lovers.

The text posted by "Alaska Mike" borrows some words and structural elements from the song group, but otherwise looks to be a modern re-working (there have been plenty of those since the 17th century) probably from America. What is the tune?


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: SINSULL
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 05:58 PM

Said Little Dickie Smothers:
"but I sure will mess around a lot..."


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 06:10 PM

Hadn't seen Rapaire's post while composing mine. Looks like I was right about US provenance for that last one (well, the train was a giveaway).


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Subject: Lyr Add: I NEVER WILL MARRY
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 06:39 AM

There's a different version collected here from traditional singer, Carrie Milliner who was born in 1926 & grew up in a sleeper cutters camp where everyone in the family sang.

The song is sung by us not them (Chloe & Jason Roweth) from their interpretation of Carrie's collected works in the Oral History collection of the National Library (www.nla.gov.au)

Maybe Bob Bolton can put up the dots in the Song Book that accompanied their CD - 'Sleepers'

Note from CD liner - Well known English/Irish traditional song adapted in America, and it seems, Australia as well. Carrie commented that later recorded versions of a song often frustrated her attempts to remember the old tune.
......................

I NEVER WILL MARRY

One morning as I rambled down by the sea-shore
The wind it did whistle & the waters did roar.

I heard a fair damsel make a pitiful sound,
She sounded so lonesome, on the waters around.

Chorus
I never will marry, I'll be no man's wife,
I expect to live single all the days of my life

The shells in the ocean will be my death bed,
The fish in deep water swim over my head,

She cast her fair body on the waters so deep,
She closed her blue eyes in the water to sleep.

My love's gone and left me, the one I adore,
He's gone and I'll never see him anymore


chorus (2)


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Subject: Lyr Add: I NEVER WILL MARRY
From: Flash Company
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:02 AM

I used to do this in slightly different order:-

One day as I rambled, all by the sea shore,
The wind it did whistle and the waters did roar,
And I spied a fair damsel making pitiful cry,
It sounded so lonesome in the water nearby

Sing I never will marry
I'll be no man's wife
I expect to live single,
For the rest of my life.

For my love's gone and left me, he's the one I adore,
And he's gone where I never will see his face more
Now the shells in the ocean, they will be my death bed
And the fish in deep waters will swim over my head,

Ch...

She plunged her fair body in the water so deep
And she closed her pretty blue eyes in the water to sleep

Ch.....

Heard it done this way by Miki And Griff (Remember them?)

FC


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 04:06 PM

There may be a Texas Gladden recording of this piece. That's the version my mother sang from time to time. Seems to me there was a verse that started "Go 'way from me, William, and leave me alone..." I wish I had the know-how to give the tune I remember. It had more movement/interest than the tune the Smothers Bros. used (imo), but was a serious song, not the somewhat comic routine ("poignant-pregnant with feeling"..."song about a girl who was (?)months poignant"...)of Tommy and Dicky, whose work I always enjoyed.
..." 'The sands of the ocean shall be my deathbed
    And the fish in deep water swim over my head'

    She flung her fair body in the water so deep,
    And she clo-sed her pretty blue eyes forever to sleep."
More memory bits.    Thanks for the mem...         Tw


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 04:27 PM

Texas Gladden- "I'm Never to Marry (The Girl that I Hated)." Don't think this is the right one.
She may have used a different title. See list at Amazon with clips, 37 of them, Ballad Legacy, Lomax.


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 06:10 PM

Texas Gladden: I'm Never to Marry ("One morning I rambled, down by the seashore"): Rounder CD 1800 ('Ballad Legacy'). Details from Roud Index (Roud 466, Laws K17).

I don't see any clips at Amazon; where should I be looking?


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 07:48 PM

yes, the Rounder disc. I came in on the Gladden cd from google and was confused for awhile. At Amazon.com, put Texas Gladden in Popular music search and "Ballad Legacy: The Alan Lomax Portait Series" comes up. Scroll down to "Samples, and at the bottom of the list click on "See all 37 tracks...."
I checked Amazon.co.uk and the list of 37 is there with indication of audio clips on all. The title is listed as "Portraits, Texas Gladden," not confusing like the .com heading at the US site.


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: I NEVER WILL MARRY (Texas Gladden)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:55 PM

Texas Gladden's version is in Reprints from Sing Out!, vol. 2 (Oak), p. 23.

X:1
T:I NEVER WILL MARRY
T:(The Damsel's Lament)
M:3/4
L:1/4
N:New words and new music arranged by Mrs. Texas Gladden. © 1958 by Melody Trails Inc., NYC
K:G
G|"G"G B G|"D"A A2-|A3-|A2 (B/A/)|
w:One day as I ram-bled,__ Down_
w:I spied a fair dam-sel,__ Make a
"G"G B d|"C"c3-|c3-|c2 c|c e c|"G"B d2-|
w:by the sea-shore,__ The wind it did whis-tle,
w:pi-ti-ful cry,__ It sound-ed so lone-some,
d3-|d2 B/G/|"D7"F G A|"G"G2z|]
w:__ And the wa-ters did roar.
w:__ In the wa-ters near-by.

Chorus:
I never will marry, I'll be no man's wife,
I expect to live single, all the days of my life.
The shells in the ocean, will be my death bed,
The fish in deep water, swim over my head.

My love's gone and left me, he's the one I adore,
He's gone where I never shall see him any more.
She plunged her dear body, in the water so deep,
She closed her pretty blue eyes, in the waters to sleep.


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Swordravenstar
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 05:11 PM

Thanks for that. The "Trio" albums don' have that song, but it seems that Linda Rondstadt has a version of it on her album "Simple Dreams" which is supposed to feature guest vocals from Dolly Parton.


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:48 AM

Yup, Ian et al, them's the words. Tho I know it by the title: "The Damsel's Lament". First "folk song" I ever heard in live performance (at the Unicorn Cafe, in Milwaukee, in the fall of 1959). Sung by a sweet voiced young woman in a blue flower print dress, a Martin D-28 in her arms. I can still see her standing in the single spot. Dang she was the prettiest woman I have ever seen. I still sing that song and see her when I do.

sigh

CB


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: John Minear
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 09:12 AM

Alaska Mike's version was one of the first songs I learned in my younger days, back about 1961. It was written by Fred Hellerman, using the nom de plume "Fred Brooks" (Copyright 1958 Sanga Music Inc.). Fred Hellerman was a member of the Weavers and you can find this song in THE WEAVERS' SONG BOOK (Harper & Bros, 1960), p. 162. The tune is very close to the traditional one. T.O.M.


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 10:57 AM

The Carter Family recorded the song (first version given above). That's probably from where Rondstat and Parton got it. It's been recorded many times by lots of bluegrass bands.


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Subject: RE: lyrics:I Never Will Marry
From: Inükshük
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 05:55 PM

I have an old Stompin' Tom version that has something close to these verses at the end, after the fair maiden has done herself in:

Now at night when I ramble
On the cliffs high above
I fancy I hear her
Sing, "Come to me, love.

"The shells of the ocean
Will be your deathbed
The fish in deep water
Will swim over your head."

I, too, will not marry
I'll not take a wife
I prefer to stay single
All the days of my life

Gives the song a whole different slant.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Never Will Marry
From: GUEST,AwGeesGirl
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 11:03 PM

I remember Ronstadt and Tommy and Dickie doing this but also my mom. She sang some different words as I remember. My mom was from the south coast of North Carolina in Brunswick County, and she taught me songs like "Go Tell Aunt Hattie" ( known elsewhere as "Aunt Rhody"), The Riddle Song, and "I Am A Rovin' Gambler". Wish I could find more about all of them as I like to include stories.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Never Will Marry
From: cptsnapper
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 01:06 AM

the version that I remember started off like Alaska Mike's offering but the second & third verses were something like this

I wish my heart was made of glass whereon you might behold
All the wonders of my love: the letters are written in gold.

Your company, your company, your company unto me
it makes feel feel while I'm away that every day is three


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Never Will Marry
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 05:56 PM

This was on a 10" Peggy Seeger LP - 10T9 - issued in 1958. Jacqui of the Spinners used to sing it in the early '60s and it was the the first banjo song I learned when I got my banjo in 1961.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Never Will Marry
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 07:49 PM

JACQUI of The Spinners? Are we talking about different Spinners here? The ones I know are an all-male lineup.

Blessings
Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Never Will Marry
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 08:37 PM

I believe I learned this one from a Folkways recording by Peggy Seeger entitled Songs for You and Me. I do have fond memories of singing it with my friends in Michigan.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Never Will Marry
From: Amos
Date: 08 Mar 16 - 06:53 PM

The two very different versions of this song have been entwined in my crowded brain for fifty years--the one tale of a forlorn girl, the other of a forlorn boy.

I like Sinsull's neat postscript to the whole business, though!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Never Will Marry
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Mar 16 - 06:26 AM

Belated attempt at clarification of 8-year-old confusion. The 'Jacqui' ref'd a few posts back would presumably have been the one who was half of Jacqui & Bridie who ran another Liverpool folk club around same time as The Spinners --

see Liverpool Echo article "Remembering 50 years of Jacqui and Bridie's folk club"

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/remembering-50-years-jacqui-bridies-3385531

I remember this song much sung around the London clubs late·50s-early·60s; brought over by Peggy Seeger I think; who as pointed out just above by Charley Noble, had recorded it on Folkways.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Never Will Marry
From: GUEST,Oz Childs
Date: 17 May 17 - 01:39 PM

If you Google "I never will marry" the first hit is a lovely video of Johnny Cash and Linda Ronstadt singing that song on Cash's old TV show. They both were in top vocal form that day. But what is really interesting is, instead of "the fish in deep water swim over my head" Cash sang, "the rushing deep waters will molder my head." Kind of grisly, eh? But since Cash was married to June Carter, I have to assume that those are the words she learned as a child from Maybelle or A.P.

Even though when the Carters recorded it I believe they used the fish verse. I wonder if "John Brown's Body" is the only well-known song to use the word "molder" or "moulder" in the sense of decomposing?


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Never Will Marry
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 18 May 17 - 10:52 AM

It's sometimes attributed to Pa Caret of The Carter Family but in Ireland it's said to be a trad ballad from the 19th century


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