Sung by: Mr. and Mrs. Berry Sutterfield
Recorded in Marshall, AR 6/14/63

Click here to listen to the original recording

(Mr. Sutterfield: "You start, and I'll help you."
??: "I can't sing."
Mr. Sutterfield: "You start it, Nellie, and I'll help you."
Mrs. Sutterfield: "Well, I can't start that.")

There was a rich lady;
From Ireland she came.
A beauti . . .

(Mrs. Sutterfield: "I can't sing . . ."
Mr. Sutterfield: "Wait a minute. We better back up here . . .")

Rich lady, from Ireland she came . . .

(Dr. Wolf: "Start again. I didn't have it."
Mr. Sutterfield: "Okay.")

There was a rich lady; from Ireland she came,
A beautiful damsel, called Sally by name.
Her riches were more than the king can possess.
Her beautiful features were more than the rest.

There was a poor young man whom we all do know,
To reward this fine lady, but his courtships did go.
Her mind being so lovely, and her portion so high,
Upon this poor young man she scarce cast an eye.

"Oh Sally, oh Sally, oh Sally," says he,
"I'm sorry that your love and mine can't agree,
And if you won't marry me, your ruin I'll prove.
I hope that your hatred will all turn to love."

"I can't say that I hate you, nor no other man,
But as far as to love you, it's more than I can.
You'd as well to retire, and end your discourse,
For I never will marry you unless I am forced."

Six months had not come, nor six months had not passed,
When I heard of this rich girl's misfortunes at last.
She was all tangled in love, and she could not tell why.
She had sent for this young man that she once did deny.

Just like a young doctor, to her bedside did ride.
"Is the pain in your head, love, or is the pain in your side?"
"Oh no, sir, it's neither. I'll tell you the rest.
The pain that's now killing me lies deep in my breast."

"Oh, am I the doctor that you sent for tonight?
Or am I the young man that you once did deny?"
"Oh yes, sir, you're the doctor can kill or can cure.
Without your assistance, I'm ruined, I'm sure."

"Oh Sally, oh Sally, oh Sally," said he,
"Don't you remember when you once slighted me?
When you denied me, you denied me with scorn,
And now I'll reward you for things past and gone."

"For things past and gone, love, I hope you'll forgive,
And grant me some longer a time for to live."
"Oh no, I won't, Sally, while I draw my breath,
But I'll dance on your grave
      when you're cold in the earth."

She pulled from her fingers gold diamond rings three,
Saying, "Wear these rings, William,
      while you're dancing on me."
"Oh, yes, I will, Sally; rejoicing I'll be
When I think of the rich girl who once died for me."

"Farewell to my father and all my best friends;
Farewell to Sweet William; God make him repent.
I can freely forgive him, although he won't me;
My follies ten thousand times over I see."

Now Sally is dead, as we may all suppose,
And with her best friends she's left her fine clothes.
She took up her lodgings in a bank of cold clay;
Her red rosy lips are a-moldering away.

(Mrs. Sutterfield: "Now, that's it."
Mr. Sutterfield: "That's it.")

Also found in Randolph, Vol. I, #40, "Pretty Sally of London"; Belden, p. 111, "A Brave Irish Lady."

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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