“Come All Ye False Lovers”


"Come all ye false lovers That love all alike; Give love-ly attention, And my counsel take." The singer will wait for Johnny to return, however long it takes. He eventually arrives, and they are married.


This piece is clearly composite; there are many floating lyrics, and it shifts from first to third person in the middle. It appears to be a pastiche of Riley ballads (though the theme of disguise has been lost), with the moral ("Beware of false lovers; (don't ever give up on your true love") at the beginning.

Since it cannot be identified with any particular Riley ballad, I have perforce given it its own classification. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Combs/Wilgus 135, pp. 147-148, "Come All Ye False Lovers" (1 text)
  2. Roud #4297
  3. BI, CW147


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1967
Keywords: love separation return
Found in: US(Ap)