Dalhousie University Archives

Nova Scotia Ballads

[Page 15]

Barbara Allen 1

In New York city where I was born,
And Cambridge was my dwellin';
'Twas 2 there I courted a pretty fair maid,
And her name was Barbary Allen
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I courted her for six long months,
And hoping still to win her.
Just wait a while and you will see,
How maidene' hearts doth waver.
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I took sick and vary sick,
I sent for her to see me,
But all she said when she came in,
"I fear young man, you're dying."
"O dying, love!, that never can be!
One kiss from you will cure me."
One kiss from me you never shall get
Though your fond heart was breaking.
"Do you remember the other night
When in your tavern drinking,
You drank a health to many fair maids
But you slighted Barbary Allen."
"Look up! look up unto the wall,
And there's a satchel hanging,
With my gold watch and silver chain,
Give them to Barbary Allen
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"Look down! look down to my bed side,
And there's a bason standing,
And it is filled with my heart's blood
'Twas shed for Barbary Allen."
He turned his eyes round to the wall,
Saying "Adieu, adieu to all men!"
Adieu!, adieu to all mankind,
Likewise to Barbary Allen."
Slowly, slowly she turned awey,
She slowly left him tying,
She had not gone more than half a mile
When she heard the death bell tolling
And every toll that the death bell gave
Gave woe 3 to Barbary Allen
And every toll that the death bell gave
Gave woe to Barbary Allen.
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"Mother! Mother! sake my bed,
Make It both soft and narrow.
My true love died for me todey,
I'll die for him tomorrow,"
Now they are dead, those two are dead,
And in one grave together.
Out of his heart grew a red, red rose,
And out of hers a brier4


Barbara Allen: Fred Brlmicombe, a native of Admiral Rock, and a young farmer of English descent, is sponsor of this remarkable Americanized version of “Barbara Allen” which surly deserves the tribute of immortal print. Mr. Brlmicombe learned the song at dances, and it is his belief that young Nova Scotians returned from working sojourns “factory labors” in the United States with this as one of many curios and mementoes.
'Twas(archaic or poetic) It was.
Woe: great sorrow
Brier:a wild bush with thorns, especially a wild rose bush
Fred Brimicombe. Date: 2014-10-16