#02416
Butcher Boy (Ryan's Fancy) MIDI, video
See also: The Butcher Boy (Sons Of Erin)
And also: The Butcher Boy (Kenneth Peacock)
And also: She Died In Love (Kenneth Peacock)
#538: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

midi1   alt: midi2

In Dublin City where I did dwell,
Lived a butcher boy I loved right well;
He courted me my life away,
But now with me he will not stay.

I wish my baby it was born,
And smiling on his daddy's knee;
And me, poor girl, to be dead and gone,
With the long green grass growing over me.

She went upstairs to go to bed,
And calling out her mother said:
Give me a chair till I sit down,
And a pen and ink till I write down.

At every word she shed a tear,
And every line cried, Willy, dear,
Oh, what a foolish girl was I,
To fall in love with a butcher boy.

He went upstairs and the door he broke,
He found her hanging from a rope;
He took his knife and cut her down,
And in her pocket these words he found:

Oh, dig my grave large, wide, and deep,
Place a marble stone at my head and feet;
And in the middle a turtle dove,
So the world may know I died for love.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Butcher Boy [Laws P24] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of the broadside ballad, The Butcher Boy, published by H De Marsan (New York, NY) circa 1860, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 18(72) ....####
This variant and the variant in the video above was recorded by Ryan's Fancy (Newfoundland Drinking Songs, ©1973, Audat Records).

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

A variant was also recorded as The Butcher Boy by Sons of Erin, featuring bandleader Ralph O'Brien, Johnnie Lynn, "Wee" John Cameron, and Denis Ryan on their self-titled album, Sons Of Erin, ca.1970.

See more songs by Sons of Erin.

A variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 as The Butcher Boy from Mrs Wallace (Amelia J) Kinslow [1903-1985] of Isle aux Morts, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.707-708, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A very similar variant was collected in 1951 from Albert (Bert) Fitzgerald [1918-?] of Trepassey, NL, and published as The Butcher Boy in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 from Mrs Thomas (Annie) Walters [1896-1986] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and published as She Died In Love in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.705-706, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that some of the most beautiful lyric verse in the English language is to be found in this traditional ballad and its relations. The relationships and cross-influences among all these songs is so complex that it is doubtful if the "original" will ever be discovered.

The video below features an excellent cover performance by Stephen Rowe of Heart's Content and Gander, NL.


#185: YouTube video by bodhrannf
©2008 ~ Used with permission ~


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