#01340
John Barbour (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: John Barbour (Great Big Sea)
And also: Young Barbour (Greenleaf/Mansfield)

There was a lady in the east northeast,
Her silk it was of green,
And she was a-sitting in her father's hall,
Watching the ships sailing,
Watching the ships sailing.

"Oh, what is the matter with my daughter?"
He said, "She looks so pale and wan,
I think she has got some sore sickness,
Or have laid with some young man,
Or have laid with some young man."

"I have not a-got any sore sickness,
Nor have laid with any young man,
But the only thing that grieves me most,
My love he stays too long,
My love he stays too long."

"Oh, is he a lord or a duke,"
He said, "Or is he a man of fame,
Or is he one of my seamen,
Who plows the raging main?
Come, tell to me his name."

"He is no lord nor no duke,"
She said, "Or yet a man of fame,
But he is one of your seamen,
Who plows the raging main,
John Barbour is his name."

"Go and bring him down, you silly fool,
Go and bring him unto me,
For tomorrow morning at eight o'clock,
Hangèd he shall be,
I will hang him to a tree."

"Oh, do not kill John Barbour,"
She said, "Nor hang him to a tree,
For if you kill John Barbour-ee
You won't get no good of me,
You won't get no good of me."

'Twas early next morning John Barbour he came down,
Dressed in his suit of green,
With his two rolling eyes like diamonds bright,
And he was neat and clean,
And he was neat and clean.

"No wonder for my daughter, John Barbour,"
He said, "That she might fall in love with you,
For if I was a woman instead of a man,
I would surely fall in love with you,
I would surely fall in love with you.

"Will you marry my daughter, John Barbour,"
He said, "Will you wed her by the hand,
And will you dine at my table,
Coming near for all my land,
Coming near for all my land?"

"Yes, I'll marry your daughter," John Barbour
He said, "I'll wed her by the hand,
And I will dine at your table,
And a fig for all your land,
And a fig for all your land."

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an 18th-century English traditional, Willie O Winsbury [Child ballad #100] The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child, Dover, 1965 ....####
Collected in 1959 from Mrs Charlotte N Decker [1884-1967] of Parson's Pond, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.534-535, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was collected in 1977 from Elsie Best (Anita Best's mother) of St John's, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #62 in Irish Com-All-Ye's (1901) by Manus O'Conor pp.109-110, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Anita Best noted that this song is known elsewhere as Willie O' Winsbury. She also noted that her uncle Mack sings the same tune and practically the same words, but calls the hero Young Willy.


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