Little Sparrow, Lyric Variant 02


“Little Sparrow, Lyric Variant 02,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 16, 2024,

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Little Sparrow, 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.


Folk songs--United States
Warnings--Songs and music
Betrayal--Songs and music
Birds--Songs and music
Sadness--Songs and music

Alternative Title

I Wish I was a Little Swallow, Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies, Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


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








The Warning

Come all you fair and tender ladies,
Take warning how you love young men,
They are like a fair bright summer
They soon will dawn and fade away.
They’ll tell to you some lovely story
Straight way they’ll go and court another,
And that is the love they have for you

I once myself did have a lover.
Indeed I thought he was my own.
Strait way he went and married another
And left me alone to mourn
I wish that I was a little sparrow,
And had wings so I could fly
Strait after my true love I would follow
And when he spoke I’d be close by

I’d ask him who he was fooling.
Who he was trying to deceive.
And at his window I would flutter
With my little tender wings.
But I’m no little sparrow
Neither have I wings to fly
I’ll go back home and weep with sorrow
Until I pass may troubles by,

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Folk Lyric - 254 Randolph, 73 Cox, 140 Combs, 188 Sharp, 118

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