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Source-Mrs. Ralph Harrington, Bennington, VT)
I first heard a version of this song performed by the wonderful New England singer and songwriter, Lui Collins. Mrs. Flanders writes, “The doleful character of this British ballad is increased by the mournfulness of the tune”

lyrics

My tender parents brought me up
Provided for me well
And in the town of Oxford
Employed me in the mill

I did not like my master
He did not use me well
I formed a resolution
Not long with him to dwell

Unbeknowing to my parents
I vowed I'd run away
I steered my course for Holland
And cursed be that day!

While on my way to Holland
A lady met me there
She offered me great wages
To drive her coach one year

Unbeknowing to my promises
At length I did agree
To drive her coach to Holland
Which proved my destiny

I had not been in Holland
But scarce two months or three
When my unworthy mistress
Became very fond of me

She said her gold and silver
Her houses and her land
If I'd concent to marry her
Would be at my command

Excuse me, dearest mistress
I must now tell you bold
I have already promised
And took a salamo

To wed with charming Sally
Your handsome chambermaid
Excuse me now, dear mistress
My heart she has betrayed

And early the next morning
Just at the break of day
I saw my unworthy mistress
A-viewing the flowers gay

A ring from her forefinger
Just as I was passing by
She dropped it in my pocket
And for the same I die

Long time I did feel guiltless
But that was all in vain
They swore so hard against me
That I was sent to jail

From jail to execution
They dragged me to a tree
Come all that stands around me
My cruel fate you see

Don't glory in my downfall
But pray do pity me
They wrapped a rope around my neck
And hung me from that tree

Farewell, my tender parents
I bid this world adieu
Farewell, my my charming Sally
I died for love, nor you

credits

from Dad's Dinner Pail and Other Songs From the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection, released July 26, 2005
Debra Cowan: Vocals
Michael DeLalla: Guitar

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Debra Cowan Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Singer Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of folk songs. Debra has two acclaimed solo recordings to her credit, and her third, “Fond Desire Farewell” was produced by former Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks. A former California resident, she now resides in Massachusetts and tours all over North America and the United Kingdom. ... more

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