“The Blacksmith”


"A blacksmith courted me, Nine months or better. He fairly won my heart, Wrote me a letter.... And if I were with my love, I'd live forever." Sadly, her love has departed (for the wars? To be married?); she wishes she were with him wherever he goes


Lines are similar to Opie-Oxford2 270, "Brave news is come to town" (earliest date in Opie-Oxford2 is 1842).

Firth c.18(130): "Strange news has come to me, strange news is carried, And now it's all the talk, my love he is married."

Opie-Oxford2 270: "Brave news is come to town, Brave news is carried; Brave news is come to town, Jemmy Dawson's married." - BS

(For the items listed above, see also Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #280, p. 165, "(Brave news is come to town)"; also Montgomerie-ScottishNR 96, "(Braw News is come to town)," in which the girl is Jean Tamson. The similarity is only in the lyrics, though, not in the plot.)

Kennedy lists in excess of a dozen collections of this song, almost all from the south of England. Normally I would interpret this to mean that it is recent but popular -- but of course it is old enough to have supplied the tune for "Brave Wolfe." - RBW

Same tune

  • Brave Wolfe [Laws A1] (File: LA01)

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Firth c.18(130), "The Blacksmith," H. Such (London), 1863-1885


  • Harry Brazil, "A Blacksmith Courted Me" (on Voice11)


  1. Kennedy 146, "A Blacksmith Courted Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, p. 22, "The Blacksmith" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. MacSeegTrav 56, "The Blacksmith" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  5. Roud #816
  6. BI, K146


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1901
Found in: Britain(England(South)) Canada