John Reilley, Lyric Variant 03


“John Reilley, Lyric Variant 03,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 23, 2024,

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John Reilley, 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
Ballads, Irish
Courtship--Songs and music
Love--Songs and music
Homecoming--Songs and music
Sailors--Songs and music

Alternative Title

John Reilly, George Reilly, John Riley, John Riley's Courtship, George Riley, The Constant Damsel


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


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








John Reilly

As I walked out one morning early,
That I might meet the bracing air.
'Twas there I spied a young Irish lady,
Who seemed to me like diamonds fair.

I stepped up to her and kindly asked her
If she would be a young sailor's bride.
Oh, no , said she , I' , too young too marryed I will not marry
I'd rather lead a single life.

Oh whats the reason
that you wont marry
You differ from all fe-
male kind
I could h

Oh no, kind sir, if I may tell you,
I could have been married full three years ago
Unto a man that they call John Reilly,
And he was the cause of my overthrow.

And when he found that her love was loyal,
Kisses he gave her, both one, two, and three.
I am the man thatthey call John Reilly
And I was the cause of your overthrow.

Come , let us marry, and no longer tarry,
I've laid up riches in great store.
We'll sail the ocean, and meet promotion,
For I do vow I'll leave you no more.

Scholarly Classification

Brown Older Ballads - Mostly British - 93 Randolph, 56 Cox, 95

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