COME ALL YOU FAIR AND PRETTY MAIDENS
(YOU FAIR AND PRETTY LADIES; LITTLE SPARROW)
Sung by: Mrs. Nettie Huddleston Barnes
Recorded in Pfeiffer, AR 8/23/61
Click here to listen to the original recording
Take warning how you love young men,
For they’re like a bright star on a summer morning;
First they appear, and then they’re gone.
They’ll tell to you many loving stories,
Declare to you that they love you well.
Straightaway they’ll go and court another,
And that’s this love they have for you.
I wisht I was a little sparrow,
And had wings, could fly so high.
I’d fly away to my false true lover;
When he’d talk, I would deny.
But here I am, no little sparrow;
Neither wings can fly so high.
I’ll sit on here in grief and sorrow,
Sing and pass my troubles by.
I wisht I’d knew this ‘fore I’d courted,
That love had a-been so hard to win,
I’d have locked my heart in a box of gold,
Fastened it up with a silver key.
I knew the herbs that grew in the garden.
I’ll sing and pass my troubles by.
He had black hair, and he wears it curly,
So fare you well, my own true love.
(Comment by Mrs. Barnes: “That’s all of it, I guess.”)
Also found in Randolph, Vol. I, #73, “You Fair and Pretty Ladies”; Brown, Vol. III, #254, “Little Sparrow”; Belden, p. 477, “Little Sparrow.”