Saturday, December 25, 2010

The song "Barbara Allen" is first mentioned in Samuel Pepys's diary on 2 January 1666. Many have covered it, including yesterday's mention, Bob Dylan. The song also appears in the 1951 film version of A Christmas Carol, the one starring Alastair Sim as "Scrooge".

BARBARA ALLEN

In Scarlet Town, where I was born,
There was a fair maid dwellin'
Made every youth cry well-a-day
Her name was Barbara Allen.

All in the merry month of May
When green buds they were swellin',
Young Jeremy Grove on his deathbed lay
For love of Barbara Allen.

He sent his man unto her then,
To the town where she was dwellin'.
"You must come to my master dear,
If your name be Barbara Allen,

For death is printed on his face
And o'er his heart is stealin'.
Then haste away to comfort him,
O lovely Barbara Allen."

Though death be printed on his face
And o'er his heart be stealin',
Yet little better shall he be
For bonny Barbara Allen.

So slowly, slowly, she came up
And slowly she came nigh him,
And all she said when there she came,
"Young man, I think you're dyin'."

He turned his face unto her straight
With deadly sorrow sighin'.
"O lovely maid, come pity me;
I'm on my deathbed lyin'."

"If on your deathbed you do lie
What needs the tale you're tellin'?
I cannot keep you from your death.
Farewell," said Barbara Allen.

He turned his face unto the wall
As deadly pangs he fell in.
"Adieu! Adieu! Adieu to you all!
Adieu to Barbara Allen!"

As she was walking o'er the fields
She heard the bell a-knellin'
And every stroke did seem to say,
"Unworthy Barbara Allen."

She turned her body 'round about
And spied the corpse a-comin'.
"Lay down, lay down the corpse," she said,
"That I may look upon him."

With scornful eye she looked down,
Her cheek with laughter swellin',
That all her friends cried out amaine,
"Unworthy Barbara Allen."

When he was dead and laid in grave
Her heart was struck with sorrow.
"O mother, mother, make my bed
For I shall die tomorrow.

Hard-hearted creature, him to slight
Who loved me so dearly,
O that I had been more kind to him,
When he was live and near me!"

She on her deathbed, as she lay,
Begged to be buried by him
And sore repented of the day
That she did e'er deny him.

"Farewell," she said, "ye virgins all,
And shun the fault I fell in.
Henceforth take warning by the fall
Of cruel Barbara Allen."

3 comments:

  1. Daffy Duck did a wonderful job of it too.
    Thanks for posting it.

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  2. Porky Pig, i meant to say/write...

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  3. Frank Turner also does a nice rendition, though I like this better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dTYvOsgxJw

    ReplyDelete