Sung by: Mrs. Almeda Riddle
Recorded in Miller, AR 8/22/57

Click here to listen to the original recording

In Jersey City where I did dwell
With a butcher's boy I loved so well,
He courted me my heart away,
And now with me he will not stay.

He takes a strange girl on his knee,
And he tells her tales that he once loved me.
Shall I be young, shall I be free?
Shall I love a boy that don't love me?

Oh, no no no, that should not be,
For I'm not young and I'm not free.
Oh, no no no, that should not be,
For apples don't grow on a lily tree.

I went upstairs just to make my bed,
And nothing to my mother said.
My mother came up those stairs to me
And said, "Oh, daughter, what matters thee?"

"Oh, Mother, oh, Mother, I will tell you why:
It's because she's got more gold than I.
But her gold will melt, and her silver will fly,
And then she'll be as poor as I."

Her father came and the door he broke,
And he found her hanging on a rope.
Took out his knife and he cut her down,
And in her bosom these words he found:

"Please dig my grave both wide and deep.
Place a marble stone at my head and feet.
Upon that stone carve a turtledove
That'll show the world that I died for love."

Also found in Randolph, Vol. I, #45; Brown, Vol. II, #81; Belden, p. 201.

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
Back to the Song Index
Back to the Wolf Collection Homepage
©Copyright 2002 Lyon College