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|This ballad was printed on broadsides in the mid and late 1800s. It is also known as The Blacksmith Courted Me. A male version of the ballad is named Our Captain Calls, which appeared in the Journal of the Folk Song Society in 1901. There are several variants to both the tune and lyrics.
These words were collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams in Herefordshire in 1909. Williams liked the air so much that he set a hymn to it using the words of Bunyan's Pilgrim ('He who would valiant be'). The hymn is known as Monksgate.
A blacksmith courted me, nine months or better|
He bravely won my heart, wrote me a letter
With his hammer in his hand, he looked quite clever
And if I was with my love, I'd live forever
But where is my love gone, with his cheeks like roses
And his good black billycock on, all crowned with primroses
I'm afraid the scorching sun, will shine and burn his beauty
And if I was with my love, I'd do my duty
Strange news has come to town, strange news is carried
Strange news flies up and down, that my love he's married
I wish them both much joy though they can't hear me
And may God reward them well for the slighting of me
Don't you remember well, when you lay beside me
And you said you'd marry me and not deny me
If I said I'd marry you, it was only for to try you
But bring your witness love, and I'll not deny you
Oh witness have I none, save God almighty
And may he reward you well, for the slighting of me
Her lips grew pale and wan, it made her poor heart tremble
To think she loved a one and he proved deceitful
From Folksongs of Britain and Ireland
See Bibliography for full information.
And The Mudcat Cafe.