The Old Riverside

The Old Riverside
As I roved out one May morning, [strowed
It was down by the old riverside;
’Twas there I met a fair young maid,
And on her I placed my eye.
From the singing of many members of the Brazil family - Doris Davies, Harry, Danny & Lemmy Brazil between 5 January 1966 and 29 September 1967 (Springthyme 66.1.6, 66.1.17, 66.2.8, 66.9.1 & 67.6.23), Gloucester 20 Apr 1966 (Springthyme 66.4.1). Also Danny Brazil, Gloucester (66.4.30). In: Shepheard, Peter. Folk Songs and Ballads of the Brazil Family of Gloucester (1967) and on The Brazil Family: Down by the Old Riverside MTCD345-7 (2007) (CD1: 1-4).

As I roved out one May morning, [strowed
It was down by the old riverside;
’Twas there I met a fair young maid,
And on her I placed my eye.

I asked her if she would take a walk,
Down by the old riverside,
That there we might sit and talk a while,
Making her my lawful bride.

“No then kind sir, to get married to you,
My age it is too young.”
“The younger you are the better you are,
More fitting you are for me,
That I should say in my old days,
I married my wife a maid.”

He took her home to his father’s house,
His lawful wife to be;
They stayed there all that long night,
Till daylight did repair.

All the first part of the night,
The couple sport and played,
And the rest part of the night,
Close in his arms she laid.

When that long night was past and gone,
And daylight did repair;
The young man rose and put on his clothes,
Saying, “Fare thee well my dear.”

“This is not the promise you made unto me,
Down by the old riverside;
You promised you would marry me,
And make me your lawful bride.”
“For to promise to marry a girl like you,
Is not such a thing I would do;
You go home to your own dear mother’s house,
And there you cry your fill;
And tell them all what I’ve done to you,
It was done by your own good will.”

“Do you think I’d go home to my own mother’s house,
To bring her trouble and disgrace?
I’d rather go and drown myself,
And sleep in some lonesome place.”

Now he catched hold of her lilly-white hand,
And he kissed both cheek and chin;
He took her down by the old riverside,
And he gently pushed her in.

See how she swims see how she goes,
She goes floating with the tide,
’Tis he room of a maid to have a watery grave,
She had right to have been my bride.

Now I’ll sail away to some other foreign clime,
Where another girl will take my eye,
Where no-one will know the deed I’ve done,
To the girl I left behind.

I’ve got a root in my father’s garden,
Some do call it rue;
For fishes swims and swallows dive,
Young men they don’t prove true.


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