Who is At My Window Weeping?
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Barry Taylor


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This is a Canadian variant of The Drowsy Sleeper. It was collected by Malcolm Laws and Vance Randolph and was known throughout Canada and the United States. It was published in the Journal of American Folklore in 1907. One of the variants Randolph collected dates back to 1878.

The song has a long oral tradition and at some point became entangled with The Silver Dagger. Doerflinger notes it is an "Anglo-Irish" song, and variants were collected in Somerset, Sussex and Dorset. There is also a Scottish variant named I Will Put My Ship in Order.

Who is at my window weeping,
Weeping there so bitterly?
"It's I, it's I, your own true loved one
Arise, arise and pity me."

"Darling, go and ask your mother
If thou my wedding bride will be
If she says no, return and tell me.
No longer will I trouble thee."

"How can I go and ask my mother
For I'm her only child and dear?
Oh, darling, go and seek some other,"
She softly whispered in his ear.

"Darling, go and ask your father
If thou my wedding bride will be
If he says no, return and tell me.
No longer will I trouble thee."

"My father's on his bed a-sleeping
With a shining sword placed on his breast
All for to slay my own true loved one,
To slay the lad that I love best."

Then William took the shining sword
And pierced it through his aching heart
"Adieu, adieu to all false loved ones.
Adieu, adieu, we both shall part."

Then Mary took the blood-stained sword
And pierced it through her lily white breast.
"Adieu, adieu to my cruel parents.
Adieu, adieu, we both shall rest."

From The Great Canadian Tunebook and
American Balladry from British Broadsiads
Ozark Folksongs and
Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman
See Bibliography for full information.
Also from Steve Roud's Folksong Index.