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Lyr Add: Bobby Allen (Afro-American)

01 Nov 01 - 12:14 AM (#583640)
Subject: Lyr Add: BOBBY ALLEN (Afro-American)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

BOBBY ALLEN

Remember, 'member de other day
When you in town a-drinkin'
You treated all the ladies 'round
An' slighted Bobby Allen.

He sent his servants to the town
Up to his Bobby's dwellin'
Your master dear lies sick in bed
It will kill his Bobby Allen.

Slowly, slowly she got up
An' went unto his dwellin'
She raised the curtains as she walked in,
Young man, I think you a'really dyin'.

Yes, I am sick, I'm very sick
An' death is on my dwellin'
I never shall see my time again
If I don't get Bobby Allen.

She wheeled around and went back home
Along as she was journeyin'
She looked to de East, and looked to the West
She saw the carpse* a-comin'.

Oh, mother, mother, fix my bed
An' make it long an' narrow
A young man died for me today
An' I must die for him tomorrow.

Little Willie died on Saturday night
An' Bobby died on Sunday
Little Willie died on Saturday night
He were buried on Easter Monday.

An' from her grave there sprung a rose
An' from his grave a brier
They wrapped and tied in a lovers' knot
An' lived an' died together.

Sung by Hule ("Queen") Hines, State Prison, Raiford, Florida. John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip. *carpse = corpse.
I felt this Afro-American version about Bobby and Little Willie should be separated from the threads on the Anglo-American versions (so many).
@ballad @folk song


03 Nov 01 - 07:00 AM (#585260)
Subject: Lyr Add: BOB-REE ALLIN
From: masato sakurai

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


18 Feb 09 - 12:24 PM (#2570119)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: BOBBY ALLEN (Afro-American)
From: John Minear

Does anyone have the lyrics for Mose (Clear Rock) Platt's version of "Bobby Allen" as recorded by Lomax and found on "Field Recordings, Vol. 6: Texas, 1933-1958"?