“Mollie and Willie”


When Mollie (?) refuses to marry Willie (?), he sets off to be a soldier. She dresses in soldier's clothes and follows him. He tells his fellow "soldier" of his love for Mollie. She starts to cry, and her identity is revealed

Supplemental text

Mollie and Willie
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From the Frank C. Brown collection, Volume II, #98, pp. 313-314.
Collected from Pat Frye of Yadkin County, North Carolina in 1945.

1 'Watch out, my darling, and don't say so,
  If you are forsaken to the wars don't you go.'
  'I'm going, I'm going, I'm going away.
  You don't wish to marry; so why should I stay?'

2 A suit of men's clothing, her sword by her side,
  She zolved [sic.] herself in them and away she did ride.

3 Little Willie and his true love was riding along;
  Little Willie thought his true love was left back at home.

4 'Here's a glass of good old brandy and a bottle of good old wine,
  Here's a health to those ladies we have left back behind.'

5 'I love but the one woman, on land or on sea;
  Here's a health to little Mollie; I know she loves me.'

6 She was standing by my side and heared me say so.
  The tears from her eyes like the waters does flow.

7 'The' 's a sweet  little Mollie has followed me here.'
  'This is your own true love who loved you so dear.'


The editors of Brown speculate that this is a defective version of "Polly Oliver." I really don't see it. It looks more like "The Banks of the Nile." But the differences in the (disordered) Brown text are large enough that I treat this as a separate ballad until I find something more similar. - RBW


  1. BrownII 98, "Mollie and Willie" (1 text)
  2. ST BrII098 (Full)
  3. Roud #6571
  4. BI, BrII098


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1945 (Brown)
Found in: US(SE)