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(first heard sung by Dave Ricker in 1959)

staff with melody

There was a youth, and a well-beloved youth, and he was an esquire's son.
He loved the bailiff's daughter that dwelt in Islington.

But she was coy, and would not believe that he did love her so,
No, nor at any time would she any countenance to him show.

And when his friends did understand his fond and foolish mind
They sent him up to London town, an apprentice for to bind.

And when he'd been there seven long years and never his love could see
Many a tear have I shed for her when she little thought of me.

Now all the maids of Islington went forth to sport and play,
All but the bailiff's daughter dear who silently stole away.

She pulled off her gown of green, and put on ragged attire,
And she went up to London town, her true love to inquire.

And as she walked on the high road, the weather being hot and dry,
Who should she spy but her own true love as he came riding by.

She started up with a color so red, and took hold of his bridle rein,
One penny, one penny, oh, kind sir, would ease me of much pain.

Before I give you one penny, sweetheart, pray tell me where you were born?
At Islington, oh, kind sir, where I have had many a scorn.

If that is so, then tell to me, pray tell me if you know
The bailiff's daughter of Islington? She is dead, sir, long ago.

If she be dead, then take my horse, my saddle and bridle also,
And I will into some far country where no man does me know.

O stay, o stay, thou goodly youth, she standeth by thy side!
She's here alive, she is not dead, and is ready to be thy bride.

Then farewell grief, and welcome joy, ten thousand times or more
For I have found my own true love, that I never thought I would see more.

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)