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Sylvia, Sylvia, Sylvia one day
She dressed herself in men's array
With a loaded pistol down by her side
To rob her true-love
To rob her true-love
Sylvia did ride

As she rode up to him and she bid him stand
Stand and deliver all the gold that you have
Stand and deliver all your gold and store
Or else this moment
Or else this moment
Your life's no more

He delivered up all his gold and store
But yet, she said, there is one thing more
There?s a diamond ring that I know you do wear
Deliver it
Deliver it
And your life I?ll spare

Now this diamond ring being a token, give o?er
This ring I?ll keep or lose my life
She was tender-hearted just like a dove
She rode away
She rode away
From her own true-love

Now as they were walking the garden green
He spied his watch hanging from her chain
He spied his watch hanging through her cloak
Which made her blush
Which made her blush
Like any rose

What made you blush at so silly a thing?
I fain would have had your diamond ring
For 'twas I that robbed you on a plain
So to take your watch
So to take your watch
And gold again

Now why did you enter such a silly plot
Suppose that pistol you did have shot
If you had shot me upon that plain
For ever after
For ever after
You'd be put to shame

I only did it for to know
Whether you were a true-lover or no
But now I've a contented mind
My heart and all
My heart and all
My dear, are thine

The match was made without delay
And soon they fixed the wedding day
And now they live in joy and content
In happiness
In happiness
Their days are spent

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Source: Kennedy, P. (1975) Folksongs of Britain and Ireland. London: Oak Publications.

Collected from Tim Walsh, Devonport by C. Tawney, 1960.

Kennedy notes:
This song is usually classified as The Female Highwayman since the young lady's name varies from Sylvia to Sovie, Sovay, Shillo, Sally, Silvery, and so on; on broadside copies the title is sometimes given as Sylvia's Request and William's Denial.

Roud: 7 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

Related Songs:  Sovay [Female Highwayman] (thematic)

Browse Titles: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z