Bonny Barbara Allan, Lyric Variant 04


“Bonny Barbara Allan, Lyric Variant 04,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed July 14, 2024,

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Bonny Barbara Allan, Lyric Variant 04


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
Lovesickness--Songs and music
Death--Songs and music

Alternative Title

Barbara Ellen


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


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








Barbara Allen

In Scarlet town where I was born,
There lived a fair maid dwelling,
Made every youth say "well aware."
Her name was Barb'ra Allen.

All in the merry month of May,
When green buds they were swelling,
Sweet William on his deathbed lay,
For love of Barb'ra Allen.

He sent his man unto her then,
To the town where she was dwelling,
"You must come to my master dear
If your name be Barb'ra Allen."

Then slowly, slowly she came up,
And slowly she came nigh him,
"Oh lovely maid, come pity me,
I'm on my deathbed lying."

"If on your deathbed you do lie,
What needs the tale you're telling?
I cannot keep you from your death,
Farewell," said Barb'ra Allen.

Hard-hearted creature him to slight,
Who loved me so sincerely,
Oh that I had been more kind to him,
When he was alive and near me.

On Monday morning she took sick,
Her heart was struck with sorrow,
Oh, Mother, mother, make my bed,
For I shall die tomorrow.

Farewell, farewell, ye virgins all,
And shun the fault I fell in,
Henceforth take warning by the fall
Of cruel Barb'ra Allen.

Scholarly Classification

Child, 84 Brown, Older Ballads - Mostly British - 27 Randolph, 21

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