William Taylor
Download Midi File
Lesley Nelson-Burns


Information
Lyrics
This was a popular street song in the first half of the 18th century. The last verse may have been added later. There are several versions, including bawdy ones. For one alternate, but similar version, see Billy Taylor. William Taylor was a brisk young sailor,
He who courted a lady fair;
Bells were ringing, sailors singing,
As to church they did repair.

Thirty couple at the wedding;
All were dress'd in rich array;
'Stead of William being married,
He was press'd and sent away.

She dress'd up in man's apparel,
Man's apparel she put on;
And she follow'd her true lover;
For to find him she is gone.

Then the Captain stepp'd up to her,
Asking her: What's brought you here?
I am come to seek my true love,
Whom I lately loved so dear.

If you've come to see your true love,
Tell me what his name may be.
O, his name is William Taylor,
From the Irish ranks came he.

You rise early tomorrow morning,
You rise at the break of day;
There you'll see your true love William
Walking with a lady gay.

She rose early the very next morning,
She rose up at the break of day;
There she saw her true love William;
Walking with a lady gay.

Sword and pistol she then order'd
To be brought at her command;
And she shot her true love William,
With the bride on his right arm.

If young folks in Wells or London
Were served the same as she served he,
Then young girls would all be undone,
Very scarce young men would be!
Related Links
From One Hundred English Folksongs
See Bibliography for full information.