Billy Grimes the Drover, Lyric Variant 03


“Billy Grimes the Drover, Lyric Variant 03,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed July 23, 2024,

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Billy Grimes the Drover, Lyric Variant 03


This item is part of the I. G. Greer Folksong Collection which consists of more than 300 individual song titles and their variants as collected by Isaac Garfield Greer (1881-1967) from informants, primarily in Ashe, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The collection includes manuscripts, typescript transcriptions produced by Dr. Greer’s clerical staff, and handwritten musical notations. Songs range from traditional Child Ballads, traditional English and Scottish ballads as well as their American variants, to 19th century popular music to musical compositions of local origin.


Ballads, English
Courtship--Songs and music
Avarice--Songs and music

Alternative Title

Billy Grimes, Billie Grimes, the Drover


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield), 1881-1967








Billy Grimes, the Drover.

“To-morrow morn, I’m sweet sixteen, and Billy Grimes, the rover,
Has popped the question to me Ma, and wants to be my lover,
To-morrow morn, he says, Mamma, he’s coming bright and early,
To take a pleasant trip with me across the fields of Barley”.

“You must not go, my daughter, dear, it is no use a-talking,
You cannot go across the field with Billy Grimes a walking.
To think of his presumption now, the dirty ugly drover.
I wonder where your pride has gone to think of such a rover.”

“Old Grimes is dead, you know, Mamma, and Billy is so lonely,
Besides, they say too, Grimes has said, that Billy is the only.
So he’ll be heir to all he’s left, and that they say is nearly
A good ten thousand dollars worth, and about six hundred yearly.

“I did not hear, my daughter dear, your last remarks quite clearly,
But Billy is a clever lad, and no doubt loves you dearly. Be
Be ready then tomorrow morn and be up bright and early,
To take a pleasant walk with him across the fields of Barley.”

And when we’re married, dear Mamma, We both shall look so neatly
I’ll wear a thousand dollar shawl, ‘Twil make me look so sweetly-
This common frock is getting old,
And silk will soon be fashion,
I’ll turn his pockets inside out, and meet with a shout, guess him-

Not quite so fast, my pretty miss, don’t try to win the drover.
Who’s traveled this whole country through in search of a true lover.
My money ne’er shall buy your shawl, Ne’er build your castles higher.
Please madam, take your daughter home, I did it but to try her.

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Older Ballads - Mostly British - 193

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