Sweet Lovely Joan
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Cecil Sharp found a variant of this in Journal of the Folk-Song Society. He completed the song from a broadside in his collection.

This is very similar to Sweet Joan.

My story to you I will relate
Concerning of a pretty maid;
Concerning of sweet lovely Joan
As she sat milking all alone.

A noble knight he rode with speed;
All mounted on his milk-white steed;
He rode, he rode, himself alone,
Until he came to lovely Joan.

Good morning to you, my pretty maid
O twice good morning, sir, she said.
What! are you milking all alone?
O yes! replied sweet lovely Joan.

Then out he pull'd his purse of gold.
And said Fair maid do this behold!
All this I'll give if me you'll wed,
Her cheeks they blush'd like roses red.

O noble knight, I pray you forbear,
I cannot marry you, I swear
For on tomorrow I'm to wed
My own, my own true love instead.

Twas then he made her a solemn vow,
He'd wed her if she would or no;
But this he said to frighten Joan,
As she sat milking all alone.

Give me the gold, into my hand,
And I will be at your command;
For that will be more good to me
Than twenty husbands, sir, said she.

As he was looking across the mead,
She mounted on his milk-white steed.
He called, he called, 'twas all in vain.
She never once looked back again.

She did not feel that she was safe
Until she reached her true love's gate.
She'd robb'd him of his steed and gold
And left him an empty purse to hold.

It pleased her lover to the heart
To think how well she'd played her part:
Tomorrow morning we'll be wed,
And I will be the knight instead.
From One Hundred English Folksongs
See Bibliography for full information.