Girl I Left Behind Me, Lyric Variant 01, Copy 02


“Girl I Left Behind Me, Lyric Variant 01, Copy 02,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed December 11, 2023,

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Girl I Left Behind Me, Lyric Variant 01, Copy 02


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
Betrothal--Songs and music
Migrant workers--Songs and music

Alternative Title

Maggie Walker, The Maid I Left Behind, The Tennessee Girl, My Parents Reared Me Tenderly


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


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








The Girl I Left Behind

My parents raised me tenderly.
They had no child but me.
My mind was bent on gambling,
With them it did not agree.
So I became a roving son,
It grieves my heart full sore,
I left my aged parents dear,
To see them never more.

There was a wealthy gentlemen,
Who then lived in thosev parts.
He had a lovely daughter
And I had gained her heart.
And she was noble minded, too,
Haughty, full and fair.
With Columbus 'fairest daughter
She truly would compare.

I told her my intention was
Quite soon to cross the Main,
I said, "Will you be faithful till I return again?"
Big drops of tears were in her eyes.
Her bosom heaved a sigh.
She said, "Dear youth, fear not for me,
My love can never die."

To Danfordtown I first set out
To England, beautiful land,
Where handsome Elizabeth soon took me by the and.
She said, "I've gold in plenty.
In love with you I be
The gold that I possess is yours
If you will marry me."

To this I soon consented,
I own it to my shame.
For what man can be happy
When he knows himself to blame?
It's true I've gold in plenty.
My wife is true and kind
But still my pillow's haunted
By the girl I left behind.

My father in his winding sheet
My Mother, too ,appears.
The girl I loved stands by my side
A kissing off the tears.
They all have died of broken hearts,
And now too late I find
Dear God hath seen my cruelty
To the girl I left behind.

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Older Ballads - Mostly British - 145 Randolph, 64 Laws, P 1 Cox, 85 Combs, 111 Sharp, 96

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