“Camden Town”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1962 (collected from William Hughes)
Keywords: courting sex rejection seduction river violence homicide death drowning suicide lover
Found in: Britain(England) Ireland

Description

Singer meets a pretty girl, asks her to sit by him (and proposes marriage; they make love); she refuses to marry a man who has led her astray, whereupon he pushes her into the river to drown (or she drowns herself, whereupon he is seized with remorse)

Notes

This seems to be an amalgamation of "Down by Blackwaterside" and "The Wexford Girl," but as it shares few words with either song, and the denouement is quite different, I classify it separately. - PJS

Roud lumps it with "Pretty Little Miss" [Laws P18], and that, given its textual state, is possible. But, when in doubt, we split. - RBW

Mary Delaney's version on IRTravellers01 includes a verse from "The Silvery Tide"; specifically "Now as Willie, he went out walking, He went out to take fresh air, And he seen his own love Mary In the waves of the silvery tide." - BS

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. MacSeegTrav 76, "Camden Town" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  2. Roud #564
  3. BI, McCST076