My true love once he courted me,
And stole away my liberty;
He stole my heart with my free good will,
I must confess I love him still.
There is an alehouse in this town,
Where my love goes and sits him down;
He takes another girl on his knee -
O! isn't that a grief to me.
A grief to me, I'll tell you why -
Because she has more gold than I;
Her gold will waste, her beauty blast,
Poor girl, she'll come like me at last.
O once I [had no cause for woe],
My love followed me through frost and snow;
But [ah! the changes time doth bring] -
My love passes by and he says nothing.
I wish my baby it was born,
Set smiling on its nurse's knee;
And I myself was in my grave,
And the green grass growing over me.
I wish, I wish, but it's all in vain,
I wish I were [but free again;
But free again I'll never be],
Till an apple grows on an orange tree.
There is a bird in yon churchyard,
They say it's blind and cannot see;
I wish it had been the same with me,
Ere I joined by true love's company.
abc | midi | pdf
Source: Kidson F, 1891, Traditional Tunes, Oxford, Taphouse and Son
Of the following song, the plaint of a broken-hearted girl, I have been enabled to obtain four different tunes, all set to different verses, but I have found great difficulty in getting the ballad complete. I at last obtained it from Mr Halliday, of Newtondale, in North Yorkshire, along with the first air here presented.
The other airs can be found as related songs on the links below.
Roud: 60 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Related Songs: My True Love once He courted Me (2) [I wish I wish] (thematic) My True Love once He courted Me (3) [I wish I wish] (thematic) My True Love once He courted Me (4) [I wish I wish] (thematic)