#02217
Pretty Caroline (Lehr and Best) video
#1416: YouTube video by chrispin2
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

One morning in the month of May
as clearly showed the sun,
Down by some banks of daisies
I spied a comely one;
She did appear as a goddess fair,
and her dark brown hair did shine,
She appeared her naked bosom there
as pretty Caroline.

Her cheeks did blush like roses,
all in the month of June,
Her eyes like diamonds in her head,
her breath like sweet perfume;
The song she sung melodiously
soon charmed the heart of mine,
As I stood listening to
the merry deeds of pretty Caroline.

I said: My handsome fair maid,
can you remember me?
I am a brave young sailor lad,
that lately came from sea;
By loving of a fair pretty girl
and her parents did combine,
They pressed me on board of
a man-o'-war from pretty Caroline.

But when those words was spoken,
away from me she drew -
Stand back, stand back young man, she cried,
or else you'll tell me true;
To produce a ring of brilliant gold,
and a lock of hair is mine -
No mortal man will ever trepan
young faithful Caroline.

A ring of gold and a lock of hair
this young man had to show -
He said: My dearest jewel,
it's to some church we'll go.
They got married in some mansion fair
and splendid they do shine;
He blessed the day in the month of May
when he met young Caroline.

####.... G Brown (see note below). Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, Pretty Caroline, published by Harkness (Preston) sometime between 1840 and 1866, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(3146). An almost identical British broadside ballad with the same lyrics and title, Pretty Caroline, was also archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(3147) and was printed without a publisher's name or date, but with the author's name, G Brown ....####
Collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1976 from Moses (Uncle Mose) Harris [1911-?] of Lethbridge, Bonavista Bay, NL, and published as #88 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, p.155, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that this was Aunt Caroline (Carrie) Brennan's favourite song. She said her husband would often sing it to her, and when she heard Uncle Mose perform it at the Good Entertainment Festival in 1977, she declared she hadn't heard anyone sing Pretty Caroline in years. Uncle Mose made an audio tape of it for her.

The video above features a live performance of a variant by Chris Baldwin of Wanstead, Essex, and Shaftsbury, Dorset, UK.

From the Random House College Dictionary: Trepan - archaic word for a person who ensnares or entraps others.



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