THE BROWN GIRL
Sung by: Mrs. Ben Daugherty
Recorded in Cave City, AR 8/10/58
Click here to listen to the original recording
Fair Eleanor, she has none.
The best advice I can give to you
Is to bring the brown girl home.
So he went to get fair Eleanor;
He rode and he rode
He rode 'til he came to fair Eleanor's house,
And she was sitting alone.
"What news, what news, what news?" she said.
"What news, what news?" cried she.
"I've come to ask you to my wedding."
"Sad news, sad news," said she.
She dressed herself all out in red,
And around her neck in green,
And every station that they passed through,
They took her to be some queen.
He rode east and he rode west;
He rode on and on.
He rode 'til he came to fair Ellen . . .
Bride was sitting alone.
He taken fair Eleanor by the hand
And led her through the hall,
And set her in a golden chair,
So high above them all.
Little brown girl has a little penny knife;
It looks so wondrous sharp.
Between the long ribs and the short,
She stuck fair Eleanor's heart.
Taken the brown girl by the hand,
Led her through the hall,
Taken the knife, cut off her head,
And threw it against the wall.
Placing the handle against the wall,
Laid at his heart,
Saying, "Here goes three true lovers,
God send them where they'll rest.
"Go dig my grave on yonders hill;
Go dig it wide and deep,
And bury Fair Eleanor in my arms,
Brown girl at my feet."
(Wolf: "That's a strange one. I'll tell you, just as an experiment, would you sing that last verse without accompaniment? Where it starts, "go dig," please don't play your guitar, just sing the tune."
Mrs. Daugherty: "You just want the tune?"
Wolf: "I just want the tune.")
[Last verse is repeated without accompaniment.]
Also found in Child, "73, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet"; Randolph, Vol. I, #15, "The Brown Girl"; Brown, Vol. II, #19, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet"; Belden, p. 37, "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet."