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(collected during the 1960s, from Charley Brown, i think;
Once my true love courted me for another version of this ballad>

(music to go here)

In London town there does dwell
The butcher's boy I love so well;
He courted me my heart away
And then with me he would not stay.

Now there's a place down in the town
Where my love goes and sits him down;
He takes strange girls upon his knee;
And he tells to them what he won't tell me.

It's grief and pain, I'll tell you why:
Because she's got more gold than I.
But gold will melt, and silver fly,
In the time of need she'll be poor as I.

She went upstairs to make her bed,
And nothing to her mother said.
Her mother, she came up to her,
O what's the matter, daughter dear?

O mother dear, it's don't you know,
It's grief and pain, and sorrow, woe;
Get me a chair to sit upon,
And pen and ink to write it down;

She wrote a letter, she wrote a song;
She wrote a letter, she wrote it long;
At ev'ry word she dropped a tear,
At ev'ry line cried, Willy dear!

And when her father, he came home,
He said, Where has my daughter gone?
He went upstairs, the door he broke,
He found her hanging from a rope.

He took a knife and cut her down,
And in her breast these words he found:
O what a silly girl was I,
To hang myself for a butcher's boy.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain,
I wish I was a maid again;
But a maid again I ne'er shall be
Till cherries bloom on a cherry tree.

O dig my grave both wide and deep,
Place tombstones at my head and feet,
And at my breast a turtle dove
To tell the world I died for love.

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)