Sung by: Almeda Riddle

Click here to listen to the original recording

There was a Romish lady,
Brought up in Popery.
Her mother always taught her
The priest she must obey.
"Oh, pardon me, dear Mother,
I humbly pray thee now,
For unto these false idols
I can no longer bow."

Assisted by her handmaid,
A Bible she concealed,
And there she gained instruction
'Til God his love revealed.
No more she prostrates herself
To pictures decked with gold,
But soon she was betrayed and
Her Bible from her stole.

"I'll bow to my dear Jesus
And worship God unseen.
I'll live by faith forever;
The works of man are vain.
I cannot worship angels,
Nor pictures made by man.
Dear Mother, use your pleasure,
But pardon if you can."

With grief and great vexation
Her mother then did go
To inform the Roman clergy
The cause of all her woe.
The priests were soon assembled,
And for the maid did call.
Forced her into a dungeon
To fright her so withall.

But the more they strove to frighten her,
The more she did endure.
Although her age was tender,
Her faith was strong and sure.
The chains of gold so costly,
They from this lady took,
And she with all her spirit,
The pride of life forsook.

Then before the Pope they brought her,
In hope of her return,
And there she was condemned
In those horrid flames to burn.
Before the place of torment
They brought her speedily.
With lifted hands to Heaven,
She then agreed to die.

There being many ladies
Assembled at the place,
She raised her eyes toward Heaven
And begged supplying grace.
"Weep not, ye tender ladies,
Don't shed your tears for me.
Yourself you need to pity
And Zion's deepening cave (?).
While my poor body's burning,
My soul the Lord shall seek.
Oh, ladies, turn to Jesus;
No longer make delay."

Then comes her raving mother,
Her daughter to behold,
And in her hand she brings her
Her idols decked with gold.
"Oh, take from me those idols.
Remove them from my sight.
Restore to me my Bible;
Therein I take delight.

"Oh, alas, my aged mother,
Why on . . .
'Twas you that did betray me,
And I am innocent.
Tormentors, now take your pleasure,
And do what you think best.
I know my precious Jesus
Will take my soul to rest."

Soon as those words were spoken,
Up stepped the man of death,
And he kindled up the fire
To stop her mortal breath.
Instead of with her golden bracelets,
With chains they bound her fast.
She cried, "My God, have pity--
Now I must die at last.
With Jesus and his angels
Forever let me dwell.
God pardon priests and people,
And so, I bid farewell."

Also found in Randolph, Vol. IV, #604, "The Death of a Romish Lady"; Brown, Vol. II, #56, "The Romish Lady"; Belden, p. 450, "The Romish Lady."

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