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Roger the miller came courting of late,
The farmer's fair daughter called beautiful Kate;
She had for her fortune jewels and rings,
She had for her fortune many fine things.
She had for her fortune five hundred pounds,
She had for her fortune,
She had for her fortune a great deal of ground.
When the will it was read and all settled down,
It was a fine fortune, five hundred pounds;
"Although your daughter is charming and fair,
I won't have your daughter without the grey mare.
I won't have your daughter, I solemnly swear,
I won't have your daughter,
I won't have your daughter without the grey mare."
The grey mare was banished right out of his sight,
And so was Miss Katie his joy and delight;
And Roger the miller was turned out of doors,
And say that he'd never go there anymore.
Now Roger he tore his fine yellow hair,
And wish that he never,
And wish that he never spoke of the grey mare.
When all was over and all passed and gone,
Now Roger and Katie they both met again;
Says Roger to Katie, "Now do you know me?"
"I think I have seen you before sir," said she.
"A man of your courteous bright eyes yellow hair,
That once came a-courting,
That once came a-courting my father's grey mare."
"It wasn't the grey mare a-courting I came,
It was his fair daughter called Katie by name;
And hoping your father he would not dispute,
To give me his daughter and a grey mare to boot.
But bearing I'd lose such a charming fine sum,
It's now I am sorry,
It's now I am sorry for what I have done."
"You're sorry," said Katie, "but I value you not,
There's lots of your men in this town to be got;
If you got the grey mare you would marry me,
But now you got neither the grey mare nor me.
The price of the grey mare was ever so great,
So fare you well, Roger,
So fare you well, Roger, go and mourn for Kate."
This variant was collected from May Whalen (Maddox) [1915-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).
Another variant was collected from Mike Kent [b.1904] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published as Old Grey Mare (Johnny The Miller) in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).
A variant was also collected in 1958 from Everett Bennett of St. Paul's, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Gray Mare (Roger The Miller) in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.278-279, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.