Barbara Allen
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Barry Taylor
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John Renfro Davis

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Lyrics

There are countless versions of Barbara Allen. AKA Barb'ry Ellen and Barbara Ellen. It is over three centuries old. It's origins are somewhere in the British Isles, Scotland and England both claim it. Versions are found as far afield as Italy and Scandanavia. And, of course, the U.S. According to one source, there are over 98 versions of the tune in Virginia alone.... Samuel Pepys refers to the "little Scottish tune" in his Diaries in 1666.

This ballad is Child Ballad #84.

For a complete list of Child Ballads at this site go to Francis J. Child Ballads.

In Scarlet town where I was born,
There was a fair maid dwellin'
Made every youth cry Well-a-day,
Her name was Barb'ra Allen.

All in the merry month of May,
When green buds they were swellin'
Young Willie Grove on his death-bed lay,
For love of Barb'ra Allen.

He sent his servant to her door
To the town where he was dwellin'
Haste ye come, to my master's call,
If your name be be Barb'ra Allen.

So slowly, slowly got she up,
And slowly she drew nigh him,
And all she said when there she came:
"Young man, I think you're dying!"

He turned his face unto the wall
And death was drawing nigh him.
Good bye, Good bye to dear friends all,
Be kind to Bar'bra Allen

When he was dead and laid in grave,
She heard the death bell knelling.
And every note, did seem to say
Oh, cruel Barb'ra Allen

"Oh mother, mother, make my bed
Make it soft and narrow
Sweet William died, for love of me,
And I shall of sorrow."

They buried her in the old churchyard
Sweet William's grave was neigh hers
And from his grave grew a red, red rose
From hers a cruel briar.

They grew and grew up the old church spire
Until they could grow no higher
And there they twined, in a true love knot,
The red, red rose and the briar.
Lyrics and information are complied from several sources..
There are a legion of others.