Lord Lovel
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

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Lord Lovel first appears in print circa 1770. Child notes versions named Lady Ouncebell, Lord Lavel and Lord Revel.

According to Child it is made up of parts of several other ballads including

This is Child Ballad #75.

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

Lord Lovel he stood at his own castle gate,
A combing his milk-white steed,
When up came Lady Nancy Belle
To wish her lover good speed, good speed.
To wish her lover good speed.

O where are you going, Lord Lovel? she said,
O where are you going? cried she:
I'm going, my Lady Nancy Belle,
Strange countries for to see, see, see
Strange countries for to see.

How long you'll be gone Lord Lovel? she said,
How long you'll be gone? cried she.
In a year or two, or three at the most,
I'll return to my Lady Nancy, -cy, -cy
I'll return to my Lady Nancy.

He had not been gone but a year and a day,
Strange countries for to see,
When a strange thought came into his head,
He'd go and see Lady Nancy, -cy, -cy
He'd go and see Lady Nancy.

He rode and he rode on his milk-white steed,
Till he came to London Town;
And there he heard the church bells ring,
And the people all mourning around, around, around,
And the people all mourning around.

Ah! who is dead? Lord Lovel he cried,
Ah! who is dead? cried he.
And old woman said: Some lady is dead,
They called her Lady Nancy, -cy, -cy
They called her Lady Nancy.

He order'd the grave to be open'd awide,
And the shroud to be turn'd around;
And then he kiss'd her cold clay cheeks,
Till the tears came trickling down, down, down
Till the tears came trickling down.

Lady Nancy she died as it might be today,
Lord Lovel he died as tomorrow;
Lady Nancy she died out of pure, pure grief,
Lord Lovel he died out of sorrow.
Lord Lovel he died out of sorrow.

The one was buried in the lower chancel,
The other was buried in the high'r.
From one sprang out a gallant red rose,
From the other a gilly flower, flower,
From the other a gilly flower.

And there they grew and turn'd and twined,
Till they gain'd the chancel top,
And there they grew and turn'd and twined
And tied in a true lover's knot, knot, knot,
And tied in a true lover's knot.

From One Hundred English Folksongs and
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
See Bibliography for full information.