(THE MAIDEN IN THE GARDEN;
PRETTY FAIR MAID DOWN IN THE GARDEN)
Sung by: Mrs. Almeda Riddle
Recorded in Miller, AR 8/22/57
Click here to listen to the original recording
And a handsome man came riding by,
And thus, oh, thus he did address her:
"Oh, my pretty fair maiden, will you marry me?"
"Now, a man of honor you look to be, Sir,
And a man of honor I believe you to be,
But I'll tell you the truth, for I have a lover
Who is sailing now on the dark blue sea.
"Now seven long years he's been out sailing,
And seven long years on a storm-tossed sea,
And if he should stay away seven years longer,
Not a man on earth can marry me."
"Well, maybe he's in some ocean drownded,
Or he might be in some battle slain,
Or he may be to some pretty girl married,
And never will come back again."
"Well, it's if he's married, I hope he's happy.
He's resting, if in a battle slain,
And if he's to some other girl married,
Then I love the girl that's married him."
Said he, "Perhaps I knew your lover-
I did if his name was William Hall,
For I saw a cannonball go through him,
And caught him as in death he did fall."
Such screams, such screams from the pretty little lady,
Crying, "Alas, oh, what shall I do?
For we were parted brokenhearted,
And now, alas, I'll never see you."
Then the man put his hand into his pocket,
Said, "Oh, I've returned to you again,"
And he drew a little ring out of his pocket
That seven years ago she had given to him.
He said, "My darling, you still love me."
And he spoke in a voice so gentle and low.
"And now, my darling, we will be married
Whether your father is willing or no."
Also found in Randolph, Vol. I, #55, "The Maiden in the Garden"; Brown, Vol. II, #92, "A Pretty Fair Maid Down in the Garden"; Belden, p. 156, "William Hall."