John Reilley, Lyric Variant 06


“John Reilley, Lyric Variant 06,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed August 15, 2022,

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John Reilley, Lyric Variant 06


One leaf typewritten on the front side. The document is in good physical condition. The document was laminated. The upper left corner and the lower left corner were folded into the laminate. There is one moderate tear and two minor tears at the left edge. There is a minor tear at the lower left corner. There is a minor stain of unknown origin at the upper right corner.


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

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.








John Reilly

As I walked out one morning early
All for to take the sweet Morning 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 wife.
“Oh no,” said she, “ I will not marry,
I prefer to live a single life”.

Oh, what's the reason that youv won't marry ?
You differ from all female kind,
For you are young, both fair and handsome,
And sure to get married your mind's inclined.

“I could have been married to one John Reilly,
I could have been married three years ago,
But he has left me and crossed the ocean,
And he was the cause of my overthrow”.

“Do leave John Reilly and do disdain him,
And go with me to some foreign shore.
And we'll sail over to California,
And bid adieu to Reilly ever more.”

“I will not go with you to California,
I will not go with you to some foreign shore,
My heart's with Reilly, and ne'er can leave him,
Although I see him never more.”

And when he found that her love was loyal,
He gave her kisses, both one , two, and three,
Saying, “I'm the man you call John Reilly,
And I have come for to marry thee ! “

Classification Title

John Reilley, Lyric Variant 06

Document Title

John Reilly



Scholarly Classification

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

Dimensions - Original

192 mm x 225 mm

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File name


Transcription Date


Transcribed By

Paul L. Robertson

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