Barbara Allen

Written Text

In Scarlet Town, where I was born

There lived a fair maid dwelling

Made every youth cry well-a-day,

Her name was Barbara Allen.

In the springtime of the year,

When all the flowers were blooming,

Sweet William on his deathbed lay

For love of Barbara Allen

His sent his servant to the town

The place where she did dwell in,

Saying, “Master dear has sent me here,

If your name be Barbara Allen.”

So slowly, slowly she got up

And slowly she drew nigh him

And all she said when there she came

Was “Young man, I think you’re dying.”

“Oh I am sick, so very sick.

With love my head is aching.

One kiss from you will cure me well

You’ll keep my heart from breaking.”

“Do you remember that night,” she said,

“When we were in the tavern?

You drank a toast to the lassies there,

And slighted Barbara Allen.”

He turned his face unto the wall.

He turned his back upon her.

“Adieu, adieu to my friends all.

Be kind to Barbara Allen.”

As she was wandering o’er the fields,

She heard the death bell knelling.

And every note it seemed to say,

“Hard-hearted Barbara Allen.”

“Father, oh Father, go dig my grave;

Make it both long and narrow.

Sweet William died of love for me,

And I shall die tomorrow.”

They buried William in the old church yard.

And Barbara in the next one.

And from William’s heart grew a red, red rose

From Barbara’s own a briar.

They grew and grew in the old church yard

‘Til they could grow no higher;

And there they tied in a true lovers’ knot:

The red rose and the briar.