Gold Watch And Chain (Kenneth Peacock)

See also:
Sally, Sally (Stan Pickett)

In Bristol city there dwelt a maid,
She courted a butcher bound by his trade;
She loved him dearly as she loved her life,
Long time she courted him,
Long time she courted him to be his wife.

Early next morning this girl arose,
She dressed herself up in sailor's clothes;
To meet her true love all on the plain,
To meet her true love,
To meet her true love away she goes.

She met her true love all on the strand,
She boldly commanded him all for to stand;
"Come, deliver up now, young man,"
she did declare, "Come, deliver up and,
Come, deliver it up and your life I'll spare."

He delivered up his gold watch and chain;
"There is one thing more that I saw you wear,
It's a diamond ring that shines so fair,
Come, deliver it up now,
Come, deliver it up and your life I'll spare."

"That diamond ring is a pledge of love,
Before I'll deliver it my life I'll lose."
Where she grew faint-hearted just like a dove
And away she run from,
And away she run from her own true love.

Early next morning this couple was seen
A-walking out in some garden green
With a watch and chain hanging on her clothes
Which made him blush like,
Which made him blush like a morning rose.

"What makes you blush at so silly a thing?
'Twas I that commanded your diamond ring,
'Twas I that robbed you all on the plain,
So here's your watch, love,
So here's your watch, love, and gold again."

"What made you act such a silly plot?
If I'd had my pistols 'tis you I'd a-shot,
I would have leaved you bleeding all on the plain,
And then I had mourned for,
And then I'd mourned for the love I'd slain.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Female Highwayman [Laws N21] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, Sylvia's Request And William's Denial, published by J Pitts (London) sometime between 1819 and 1844, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 25(1877) ....####
Collected in 1958 by Kenneth Peacock from Isaac Freeman Bennett [1896-1981] of St Paul's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.342-343, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that in broadside versions this ballad is known as Sylvia's Request And William's Denial. In English variants collected from oral tradition it is called Sovie, Sovie or The Female Highwayman, Helen Creighton's [1899-1989] singers in NS called it Silvy, Silvy, and William Roy Mackenzie [1883-1957] collected it from the same province as Zillah.

A variant was collected as Sally, Sally by Stan Pickett [1944-?] of Fair Island, Bonavista Bay, NL, who came upon it in Centreville, Bonavista Bay, NL, from his aunt, Jane (Parsons) Pickett [1893-1984] of Centreville, NL, who was 86 years old at the time. Jane sang the song as Stan wrote it down and later made minor alterations to the tune.

A variant was also sung in 1951 by Mrs Bride Power [1896-1967] of Tors Cove, NL, with the opening words, "Jenny, Jenny," and published as The Broken Token in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada, ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected in 1929 from Mrs Thomas (Annie) White Jr [1888-?] of Sandy Cove, St Barbe, NL, and published as #27, Wexford City on page 61 in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland, by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; and Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968).

Rev Sabine Baring-Gould [1834-1924] also collected a variant in 1890 in Dorset, England, as The Lady Turned Highwayman.


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