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(learned originally in about 1956 from Pete Seeger; i have collected 4 other versions)

(music to go here)

I was born [and raised] in East Virginia
North Carolina I did go
There I met the fairest maiden
Whose name and age I do not know

I'd rather be in some dark holler
Where the sun would never shine
Than to see you wed another
When I know you'll never be mine

Her hair it was a light brown color
Her cheeks they were a ruby red
On her breast she wore white lilies
Where I longed to lay my head (-or- Oh, the tears that I have shed.)

Her mother said that we can't marry
Her father said it'd never do
But if you are bound to love me (-or- So, fair lady, if you are willin')
I will run away with you

In my heart you are my darlin'
At my door you're welcome in
At my gate I'll always meet you
Yours is the love I want to win (-or- If your love I could but win)

In the night I'm dreamin' 'bout you
In the day I know no rest
Just the thought of you, my darlin'
Sends aching pains all through my breast (-or- chest)

When I'm dead and in my coffin
With my face turned toward the sun
Come and sit beside me, darlin',
Come and think on what you've done.

I had a dream the other night, dear
That you were in my arms to hold
The boss man gave us fifty dollars
All in gold, boy, all in gold

So fare you well, my own true lover
I never expect to see you again
I'm bound to ride that northern railway
Perhaps I'll catch the very next train

Pappa says that we can't marry marry
Mama says it ne'er can be
Some dark night we'll take a ramble
You will run away with me.

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)