Katy Cruel
Download Version 1
Lesley Nelson-Burns
Download Version 2
Ron Clarke


Information
Lyrics
This song is said to date back to colonial times and was supposedly sung by American troops during the Revolutionary war. It was sung to several tempos. Troops marched to the tune, children skipped to it and women sang it as a lullaby and lament. I chose to sequence the tune as a lament. I believe it is more commonly sung to a faster tempo (as done by Ron).

Though the origins of the song are mysterious, the text is often linked to the Scottish songs Licht Bob's Lassie and Aye Waukin' O. It is sometimes also considered part of the family of songs that include I Know Where I'm Going and the words have been sung to that tune.

When I first came to town,
They called me the roving jewel;
Now they've changed their tune,
They call me Katy Cruel,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.

Chorus
Oh that I was where I would be,
Then I would be where I am not,
Here I am where I must be,
Go where I would, I can not,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.


When I first came to town,
They brought me the bottles plenty;
Now they've changed their tune,
They bring me the bottles empty,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.

Chorus
Oh that I was where I would be,
Then I would be where I am not,
Here I am where I must be,
Go where I would, I can not,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.


I know who I love,
And I know who does love me;
I know where I'm going,
And I know whose going with me,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.

Chorus
Oh that I was where I would be,
Then I would be where I am not,
Here I am where I must be,
Go where I would, I can not,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.


Through the woods I go,
And through the bogs and mire,
Straightway down the road,
And to my heart's desire,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.

Chorus
Oh that I was where I would be,
Then I would be where I am not,
Here I am where I must be,
Go where I would, I can not,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.


Eyes as bright as coal,
Lips as bright as cherry,
and 'tis her delight
To make the young girls merry,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.

Chorus
Oh that I was where I would be,
Then I would be where I am not,
Here I am where I must be,
Go where I would, I can not,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.


When I first came to town
They called me the roving jewel
Now they've changed their tune
They call me Katy Cruel
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.

Chorus
Oh that I was where I would be,
Then I would be where I am not,
Here I am where I must be,
Go where I would, I can not,
Oh, diddle, lully day,
Oh, de little lioday.


From Folk Songs of Old New England and
The Ballad of America
See Bibliography for full information.
And
The Mudcat Cafe