Sung by: Robert B. Stark
Recorded in Miller, AR, 6/23/53

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My old parents treated me kind;
They had no child but me.
Me being bent on roaming,
With them I couldn't agree.
Me being bent on rambling,
Which grieved their hearts plumb sore
To think I'd go and leave them,
Never to return no more.

There lived a wealthy merchant
In a neighboring town close by.
He had an only daughter;
With her I'd cast an eye.
Her waist was slim and slender;
Her beauty no tongue could tell.
'Twas the only object of my mind,
Was the girl I left behind.

Oh, I asked if it made any difference
If I sailed o'er the main;
She said 'twouldn't make no difference
If I'd come back again.
She said she'd prove true to me
If death didn't prove unkind,
So we kissed, shook hands, and parted,
And I left my girl behind.

Away to old Ireland
To view that town around.
My money being plentiful,
The girls all crowded 'round.
My money being plentiful,
The girls all treated me kind,
But the only object of my mind
Was the girl I left behind.

As I walked out one morning,
Down on the public square,
The coach boy rents his revenue;
The coach boy met me there.
He hands to me a letter
Which made me understand
That the girl I left behind me
Had married another man.

Oh, I read on down a little farther,
And I found those words were true.
I turned myself around and about,
And I didn't know what to do.
Bad company I'll give over,
Good company I'll resign.
I'll travel this wide world over
For the girl I left behind.

(Comment by Mr. Stark: "That's all of that one.")

Also found in Randolph, Vol. I, #64, "The Girl I Left Behind"; Brown, Vol. II, #145, "The Girl I Left Behind Me"; Belden, p. 198, "The False-Hearted Lover."

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

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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