“The Holy Well”


Mary sends Jesus out to play. He meets a group of noble children, who scorn him as poor. Jesus bitterly runs home to Mary. She urges him to curse/damn them. Jesus, as the worlds's savior, realizes he cannot do so

Supplemental text

Holy Well, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Ella Mary Leather, Folk-Lore of Herefordshire, pp. 186-187.
Apparently from the singing of Mr. J. Hancocks, Monnington, 1908.

As it fell out upon a day,
On a bright and a holy day,
Sweet Jesus asked of His dear mother
If He might go to play.

(12 additional stanzas)

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 1484, "The Holy Well" ("As it fell out one May morning"), T. Wood (Birmingham), 1806-1827; also Douce adds. 137(12), Harding B 7(10), "The Holy Well"


  • Wiggy Smith, "The High-Low Well" (on Voice11)


  1. Leach, pp. 690-691, "The Holy Well" (1 text)
  2. Leather, pp. 186-187, "The Holy Well" (1 text, 2 tunes)
  3. OBB 110, "The Holy Well" (1 text)
  4. OBC 56, "The Holy Well" (1 text, 2 tunes)
  5. PBB 9, "The Holy Well" (1 text)
  6. ST L690 (Partial)
  7. Roud #1697
  8. BI, L690


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1828 (broadside, Bodleian Johnson Ballads 1484)
Keywords: abuse Jesus poverty
Found in: Britain(England(South,West))