The Lost Lady Found
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This appears as Gipsy Song in a collection of songs from Sussex by Rev. John Broadwood in 1843. It was found in Cheshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Essex and Dorset by collectors. It is also found in the Maritime Provinces of Canada and in America.

Variants and alternate titles include: 'Tis of a Young Damsel.

This song was collected in Cheshire. Barrett notes that in London the words are sung to a tune resembling Little Bo-peep.

It was down in a valley a young maiden did dwell,
She lived with her uncle as all knew full well;
'Twas down in the valley where violets were gay,
Three gipsies did betray her, three gipsies did betray her,
Three gipsies did betray her, and stole her away.


Long time she'd been missing and could not be found,
Her uncle he searched the country around,
Till he came to her Trustee between hope and fear,
The Trustee made answer, The Trustee made answer
The Trustee made answer, she had not been here.


The Trustee spoke up with courage so bold,
'I fear she has been lost for the sake of her gold,
So we'll have life for life, sir, the Trustee did say,
We shall send you to prison, We shall send you to prison,
We shall send you to prison, and there you shall stay.'


There was a young squire that loved her so,
Ofttimes to the school house together they did go;
'I'm afraid she is murdered, so great is my fear,
If I'd wings like a dove, If I'd wings like a dove,
If I'd wings like a dove, I would fly to my dear.'


He travell'd thro' England, thro' France, and thro' Spain,
Till he ventured his life on the watery main;
And he came to a house where he lodged for a night,
And in that same house, And in that same house,
And in that same house, was his own heart's delight.


When she saw him she knew him, and flew to his arms,
She told him her grief while he gazed on her charms;
'How came you to Dublin, my dearest?' said he.
'Three gipsies did betray me, three gipsies did betray me,
Three gipsies did betray me, and stole me away.'


'Your uncle's in England, in prison does lie,
And for your sweet sake is condemned for to die.'
'Carry me to old England, my dearest,' she cried,
'One thousand I will give you, One thousand I will give you
One thousand I will give you, and will be your bride.'


When she came to old England her uncle to see,
The cart it was under the high gallows tree:
'Oh, pardon! oh, pardon! oh, pardon! I crave,
Don't you see I'm alive, Don't you see I'm alive,
Don't you see I'm alive, your dear life to save?'


Then straight from the gallows they led him away,
The bells they did ring and the music did play!
Every house in the valley with mirth did resound,
As soon as they heard, As soon as they heard,
As soon as they heard, the 'Lost Lady' was found.


Related Links
From English Folk-Songs and
Folksongs of Britain and Ireland
See Bibliography for full information.