In Scarlet Town where
I was born
There was a fair maid dwellin'.
Made many a youth cry well-a-day.
Her name was Barbara Allen.
'Twas in the merry month
When green buds they were swellin',
Sweet William came from the West country
And he courted Barbara Allen.
He sent his servant unto
To the place where she was dwellin',
Said, "My master’s sick, bids me call for you,
If your name be Barbara Allen."
Well slowly, slowly got
And slowly went she nigh him,
But all she said as she passed his bed,
"Young man, I think you're dyin’ ”.
Then lightly tripped she
down the stairs,
She heard those church bells tollin’,
And each bell seemed to say as it tolled,
"Hard-hearted Barbara Allen."
"Oh, mother, mother
go make my bed,
And make it long and narrow.
Sweet William died for me today.
I'll die for him tomorrow."
They buried Barbara in
the old churchyard,
They buried William beside her,
Out of his grave grew a red, red rose,
And out of her’s a briar.
They grew and grew up
the old church wall,
’Till they could grow no higher,
And at the top, joined in a lover's knot,
The red rose and the briar.
Traditional (Child Ballad #84)