Billy Taylor
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Lesley Nelson-Burns



Information
Lyrics
This was a popular street song in the first half of the 18th century. There are several versions, including bawdy ones.

The music I sequenced did not have a chorus. These lyrics, from Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia has a chorus - which would be sung after each verse.

The first line in the fourth verse is missing in the book so I took a line from another version at The Mudcat Cafe. I also adapted the lines in the last verse to fit the music.

For an alternate, but similar version, see William Taylor.

Billy Taylor was a smart young feller
Full of mirth and full of glee,
And he did his mind diskiver
To a lady fair to see.
Fol rol lol, de rol lo lie do
Fol rol lol, de rol lol lay.

Four and twenty smart young fellers,
Dressed were they in blue array,
They came and took poor Billy Taylor
Whom they pressed and sent away
Fol rol lol, de rol lo lie do
Fol rol lol, de rol lol lay.

Soon his true love followed after,
She went by the name of Richard Carr,
And she smeared her lily-white fingers
With the nasty pitch and tar.
Fol rol lol, de rol lo lie do
Fol rol lol, de rol lol lay.

A storm arose upon the ocean,
She went up aloft with the rest,
Her sailor's jacket being unbuttoned
There they diskivered her lily-white breast.
Fol rol lol, de rol lol lay.

When the captain came for to know it
Says he, What wind did blow you here?
Sir, I've come to seek my true love
Whom you've pressed and sent to sea.
Fol rol lol, de rol lo lie do
Fol rol lol, de rol lol lay.

If his name is Billy Taylor
He is both cruel and severe
If you rise up early in the morning
You will see him with his lady dear.
Fol rol lol, de rol lo lie do
Fol rol lol, de rol lol lay.

Early, early, in the morning,
Early at the break of day,
Who did she see but Billy Taylor
Walking with his lady gay.
Fol rol lol, de rol lo lie do
Fol rol lol, de rol lol lay.

Sword and pistols she called out for,
And they came at her command
And she shot her Billy Taylor
With his lady by the hand.
Fol rol lol, de rol lo lie do
Fol rol lol, de rol lol lay.

When the Captain he came for to know it
He applauded her for what she'd done.
And he made her his Lieutenant
Aboard the gallant Thunderbrun.
From Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia
See Bibliography for full information.