Sung by: Mrs. T.F. Guthrie of San Antonio, TX
Recorded on 7/18/52
Click here to listen to the original recording
A-combing his milk-white steed.
Along came Lady Nancy Bell
A-wishing her lover good speed, speed, speed,
A-wishing her lover good speed.
"Oh, where are you going, Lord Lovel?" she said,
"Oh, where are you going?" said she.
"I'm going away," Lord Lovel replied,
"Far countries for to see, see, see,
Far countries for to see."
"How long will you be gone, Lord Lovel?" she said,
"How long will you be gone?" said she.
"I'll only be gone a year and a day,
Or at most but two or three, three, three,
Or at most but two or three."
He'd only been gone a year and a day,
A year and a day gone he,
When into his head popped languishing thoughts
Lady Nancy Bell for to see, see, see,
Lady Nancy Bell for to see.
He rode and he rode 'til he reached London town,
To London town came he,
And there he met a funeral,
With the mourners all weeping 'round, 'round, 'round,
With the mourners all weeping around.
"Oh, who is dead, good people?" he said,
"Oh, who is dead?" said he.
"'Tis the earl's only daughter," the people replied,
"And they called her Lady Nancy-cy-cy,
And they called her Lady Nan-cy."
He ordered the coffin to be opened straight
And the shroud to be pulled down,
And there he kissed her cold, cold corpse,
While the tears, they came trickling down, down, down,
While the tears, they came trickling down.
Lady Nancy, she died on that self-same eve,
Lord Lovel, he died on the morrow.
Lady Nancy, she died of pure, pure grief,
Lord Lovel, he died of sor-rar-rar-row,
Lord Lovel, he died of sorrow.
Lady Nancy was buried in St. Martin's Kirk,
Lord Lovel was laid in the choir.
But out of her bosom there grew a red rose,
And out of her lover's a briar-ri-riar,
And out of her lover's a briar.
They grew and they grew
'till they reached the church tower,
And there they couldn't grow any higher,
And so they entwined in a lover's true knot,
All true lovers for to admire-ri-rire,
All true lovers for to admire.
(Dr. Wolf: "Mrs. Guthrie sang "Lord Lovel." She learned it at Sylamore, Arkansas, when she was a child.")
Also found in Child, #75; Randolph, Vol. I, #17; Brown, Vol. II, #21; Belden, p. 52.