Barbara Allen

Traditional, Childe Ballad #84

Audio clip

"Barbara Allen" is performed by Leza Mesiah on her album "The Moor of Dundee"
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Here is the version Leza sings:

T'was in the town, where I was born.
When greenbuds all were swellin'.
Sweet William on his death bed lay,
For the love of Barbra Allen.

He sent his servant to the town, 
To the place where she was dwellin'.
My master bid ye come to him,
If yer name be Barbra Allen.

And slowly, slowly, she got up.
And death was in him swellin'
And the only words to him did say
Is "young man, I think yer dyin'."

He turned his fact unto the wall
And death was in him swellin',
Good bye, good bye, to my friends all.  
Be good to Barbra Allen.

When he lay dead and in his grave, 
She heard the death bells nellin';
And every stroke to her did say:
Hard-hearted Barbra Allen.

Oh mother, oh mother, go dig my grave.  
Dig it both long and narrow. 
Sweet William died for love for me
And I will die of sorrow.

Oh father, oh father, go dig my grave,
Make it both long and narrow. 
Sweet William died of love for me,
And I will die tomorrow.

Barbra Allen was buried in the olde church yard. 
Sweet William buried beside her. 
Out of Sweet William's heart grew a red, red rose. 
Out of Barbry Allen's, a briar.

They grew and grew in the olde church yard,
Till they could grow no higher. 
At the end they formed a true lovers' knot. 
And the Rose grew 'round the Briar.

Here is another common version:

In Scarlet town where I was born,
There was a fair maid dwellin'
Made every youth cry Well-a-day,
Her name was Barb'ra Allen.

All in the merry month of May,
When green buds they were swellin'
Young Willie Grove on his death-bed lay,
For love of Barb'ra Allen.

He sent his man unto her then
To the town where he was dwellin'
You must come to my master, dear,
If your name be be Barb'ra Allen.

So slowly, slowly she came up,
And slowly she came nigh him,
And all she said when there she came:
"Young man, I think you're dying!"

He turned his face unto the wall
And death was drawing nigh him.
Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all,
And be kind to Bar'bra Allen

As she was walking o'er the fields,
She heard the death bell knellin',
And ev'ry stroke did seem to say,
Unworthy Barb'ra Allen.

When he was dead and laid in grave,
Her heart was struck with sorrow.
"Oh mother, mother, make my bed
For I shall die tomorrow."

And on her deathbed she lay,
She begged to be buried by him,
And sore repented of the day
That she did e'er deny him.

"Farewell," she said, "ye virgins all,
And shun the fault I fell in,
Henceforth take warning by the fall
Of cruel Barb'ra Allen."