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​Barbara Ellen

This song is by Nic Jones and appears on the live compilation album Unearthed (2001).

In Scarlet town where I was born
In the place where she was dwelling
A young man on his death bed lay
All for the love of Barb'ry Ellen
Ellen, for the love of Barb'ry Ellen

Well he sent his servant to the town
To the place where she was dwelling
Saying Arise arise, young woman, he said
If your name be Barb'ry Ellen
Ellen, if your name be Barb'ry Ellen

Slowly, slowly she rose up
And slowly she drew nigh him
And the only words that he heard he say
Were Young man, I think you're dying!
Dying, young man, I think you're dying!

Oh a dying man, no don't say so
For your love is all I'm needing
One kiss, one kiss from your rosy lips
That's all that I am needing
Needing, that's all that I am needing

But don't you remember last Saturday night
When you were in the ale house drinking
How you drank the health of every young maid
But not to Barb'ry Ellen
Ellen, but not to Barb'ry Ellen

As I was walking through yonder grove
I heard the death bell tolling
And every peal rang out for shame
Hard hearted Barb'ry Ellen
Ellen, hard hearted Barb'ry Ellen

As I was walking through yonder town
I saw his coffin coming
Lay it down, lay it down, that I might see
That I might gaze upon him
Upon him, that I might gaze upon him

The more she looked and the more she laughed
And the further she drew from him
And it's all the people cried out for shame
Hard hearted Barb'ry Ellen
Ellen, hard hearted Barb'ry Ellen

Now it's, Mother, oh mother go dig my grave
And won't you dig it both long and narrow
For this young man he's died for love
And I shall die of sorrow
Sorrow, and I shall die of sorrow

Now Barb'ry Ellen she was buried in the old churchyard
And there's young William over in the choir
And out of his heart there grew a red rose
And out of Barb'ry Ellen's a briar
A briar, and out of Barb'ry Ellen's a briar

They grew and they grew in the old churchyard
Until they could grow no higher
And it's there they formed into a true lover's knot
A red rose aound a briar
A briar, a red rose aound a briar

Near Scarlet town where I was born
Near the place where she was dwelling
A young man on his death bed lay
All for the love of Barb'ry Ellen
Ellen, for the love of Barb'ry Ellen

Credits Edit

  • Traditional/Arranged Nic Jones
  • Child Ballad #84
  • Roud Folk Song Index #54