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In Reading town, there I was born,
In Scotland was my dwelling;
O, there I courted a pretty fair maid -
Her name was Barbara Allen.

I courted her for months and years,
Thinking that I should gain her;
And I oft times vowed and did declare
No other man should have her.

I sent a man to yonder town,
To ask for Barbara Allen.
Saying "You must come to my master's house,
If your name be Barbara Allen."

So slowly she put on her clothes,
So slowly she came to him;
And when she got to his bedside,
"Young man," she said, "You're dying."

. . . . . . . . . .

If you look under my pillow
You'll find a napkin lying,
And it is soaked with my heart's blood,
For the love of Barbara Allen.

He put his hand right out of bed,
Thinking to draw her nigh him;
But she whipped her heels and away she ran,
Straightway from him she flew.

So he turned his face unto the wall,
And death came slowly to him;
"Adieu, adieu to all my frends,
Farewell to Barbara Allen."

As she was walking across yon fields
She heard his death-bell tolling
And every toll it seemed to say -
Hard-hearted Barbara Allen.

. . . . . . . . . .

"O dear mother, make my bed,
And make it fit to die on;
There's a young man died for me to-day
And I'll die for him to-morrow."

. . . . . . . . . .

And he did die on one good day,
And she did die on the morrow;
O, he did die for the love of her,
And she did die for sorrow.

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Source: Kidson F, 1891, Traditional Tunes, A Collection of Ballad Airs, Oxford, Taphouse and Son

This song, like version 2 in the related songs, is from the North Riding of Yorkshire from the singing of Mr A Wardhill, Goathland.

Roud: 54 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

Related Songs:  Barbara Allen (1) (thematic) Barbara Allen (2) (thematic)

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