“The Virginia Lover”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1916 (Cecil Sharp collection)
Keywords: grief poverty courting marriage brother lover mother clothes
Found in: US(Ap, SE)

Description

Singer courts (Martha), who returns his affection. Her mother/brother opposes the marriage because he is unpropertied, and offers her land/gowns if she'll reject him. She weeps; he tells her "if you hadn't been so faithful, I wouldn't have been so true"

Long description

Singer courts fair Martha (Polly) (of Blackwaters, dark waters), who returns his affection, but her mother (brother) opposes their marriage because he is unpropertied, and offers her land (or gowns) if she'll reject him. She weeps; he asks if he's given her any occasion to be angry, and tells her "if you hadn't been so faithful, I wouldn't have been so true"

Notes

The plot of this song powerfully resembles others, notably "The Wagoner's Lad," but it seems to be distinct. - PJS

Cross references

References

  1. SharpAp 124, "The Virginia Lover" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
  2. Roud #420
  3. BI, ShAp2124