I'll Hang My Harp on a Willow Tree, Lyric Variant 02


Bayly, Thomas Haynes, 1797-1839, “I'll Hang My Harp on a Willow Tree, Lyric Variant 02,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 22, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/31606.

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I'll Hang My Harp on a Willow Tree, Lyric Variant 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.


Popular music--Great Britain
Folk songs--United States
Unrequited love--Songs and music
Crusades--Songs and music

Alternative Title

Harp on the Willow Tree, The Saracen


Bayly, Thomas Haynes, 1797-1839


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


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







Spatial Coverage


I'll Hang My Harp on a Willow Tree

I'll hang my harp on a willow tree,
I'm off to the wars again,
My peaceful home has no charms for me,
The battle field no pain.
The lady I love will soon be a bride,
With a diadem on her brow,
Oh! Why did she flatter my boyish pride,
She's going to leave me now.

She took me away from my warlike lord,
And gave me a silken suit.
I thought no more of my master's sword
When I played on my master's lute.
She seem'd to think a boy above
Her pages of low degree
Oh! Had I but lov'd with a boyish love
It would have been better for me.

Then I'll hide in my breast every selfish care,
I'll flush my pale cheek with wine,
When smiles await the bridal pair
I'll hasten to give them mine.
I'll laugh and I'll sing tho' my heart may bleed,
And I'll walk in the festive train.
And if I survive it I'll mount my steed,
And I'll off to the wars again.

But the golden tress of her hair I'll twine,
In my helmet's sable plume,
And then on the field of Palestine,
I'll seek an early doom,
And if by the Saracen's hand I fall,
Mid the noble and thebrave,
A tear from my ladylove is all
I ask for the warrior's grave.

Associated Date


Scholarly Classification

Brown, Folk Lyric - 259

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