Abroad As I Was Walking
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

George Gardiner collected this song in Hampshire. This version was published in 1909. Several variants of the tune were collected around that time in the West Country of England.

Variants of this ballad were found in Ireland and England. Variants include: I am too Young (1787-1803), The Squire and the Fair Maid (1889), The Squire and the Maid (1903), and Down by the Greenwood Side (1913). An Irish variant is Down by Blackwaterside.

The ballad and many variants were printed on broadsides. Copies of these can be found at the Bodleian Library.

Abroad As I Was Walking ,
Down by some greenwood side,
I heard a young girl singing,
"I wish I were a bride."

"I thank you, pretty fair maid,
For singing of your song;
It's I myself shall marry you;"
"Kind sir, I am too young."

"The younger, the better,
More fitting for my bride,
That all the world may plainly see
I won a pretty maid.

Nine times I kissed her ruby lips,
I viewed her sparkling eye;
I took her by the lily-white hand,
My lovely bride to be.

Variants at this Site
From Folksongs of Britain and Ireland and
English County Songs
See Bibliography for full information.