Fair Margaret and Sweet William


“Fair Margaret and Sweet William,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed July 6, 2022, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/31504.

Social Bookmarking


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>


Fair Margaret and Sweet William


One leaf typewritten on the front side. The document is in fair physical condition. The document was laminated back-to-back with "The Fellow That Looks Like Me," Variant 3, Page 1, Copy. There is lamination-related creasing on the document. A significant portion of the upper left corner was torn away. There are several major tears along at the left lower edge. There are two minor tears at the upper left edge. There is a clear adhesive tape repair at the upper left corner. The document was folded vertically in half. There is a classification note handwritten at the upper right corner. The informant citation initials follow the song text.


Ballads, English Balalds, Scots Courtship -- Songs and Music Death -- Songs and Music

Alternative Title

Alace I Lie My Alon. I'm Like to Die Awld. William and Margaret. Lady Margaret. Lady Margaret and Sweet William. Pretty Polly. Lady Margret. Sweet William and Lady Margaret. Sweet Willie. Sweet William and Lady Marg'ret. Margaret and William. Lady Marget. King William and Lady Margaret. Little Marget. Sweet Willie and Fair Annie. Fair Margaret and Sweet William. Lady Margaret's Ghost




W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University

Date Created



I. G. Greer


The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries. W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection. Special Collections. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.








Sweet William

Sweet William dressed himself, he dressed
Himself in royal blue,
His leave he did ask of his own true love
Lady Margaret to go and see.

Lady margaret in her own parlor door
Combing back her own sweet hair,
Until she saw Sweet William and his bride
Come riding up to the door.

She tossed back her yaller hair,
She threw down her ivory comb
And into her own chamber she went
Never to come out any more.

Lady Margaret died just like today,
Sweet William died tomorrow,
Lady Margaret died with sighs and groans
Sweet William died with sorrow

Lady Margaret was buried in the old church yard,
Sweet William by her side,
And out of her grave there sprang a red rose
And out of his-un a brier.

They growed so high, they growed so tall,
They could not grow no higher,
When they met they tied in a true love knot,
A red rose round a brier.


Classification Title

Fair Margaret and Sweet William

Document Title

Sweet William



Scholarly Classification

Child, 74 Brown, Older Ballads - Mostly British - 20 Cox, 11 Combs, 19 Sharp, 20

Dimensions - Original

216 mm x 280 mm

Upload Date


File name


Transcription Date


Transcribed By

Sarah C. Tonkin

Social Bookmarking


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>