Vermont Folklife Center - Digital Archive

OT2003-3012-006 -- Butcher Boy



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

There is an inn in the same town
Where my love goes and sits them down
And he takes a strange girl on his knee
And he tells to her what he won't tell me

It's a grief to me, I'll tell you why
Because she has more gold than I
But her gold will melt and her silver fly
And of time of need, she'll be poor as I

She went upstairs to make her bed
And nothing to her mother said
Her mother came upstairs to me
Saying "What's the matter, daughter dear"

"Oh mother, mother you do not know
What a grief and pain and sorrow woe
Go get a chair and set me down
And a pen and ink for to write it down"

On every line she dropped a tear
While calling home her Willie dear
And when her father did come home
He said "Where has my daughter gone"

He went upstairs to give her hope
and found her hanging by a rope
He took his knife and he cut her down
And in her breast these lines he found

"Oh what a silly maid am I
For to hang myself for the butcher boy
Go dig my grave both long and deep
Place a marble stone at my head and feet
And on my breast place a turtle dove
To show this world I died for love"

I wish I wish but all in vain
I wish that I were a maid again
But a maid again I never shall be
Til an orange grows on a willow tree [Atwood also suggests, "til a peach grows on an apple tree"]

References:

Dublin Core

Title

OT2003-3012-006 -- Butcher Boy

Description

Song excerpted from audio recording OT2003-3012, part of VFC2003-0007 Margaret MacArthur Collection.

Creator

Source

Margaret MacArthur Collection -- VFC2003-0007. Vermont Folklife Center Archive, Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, Vermont, United States of America.

Date Created

1964-07-15

Contributor

Language

en

Identifier

VFC2003-0007 OT2003-3012-006

Rights Holder

Vermont Folklife Center

Song Item Type Metadata

Local Title

Butcher Boy

Standard Title

The Butcher/Butcher's Boy

Standard Title Reference

Folk Music Index (http://www.ibiblio.org/folkindex)

Transcription

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

There is an inn in the same town
Where my love goes and sits them down
And he takes a strange girl on his knee
And he tells to her what he won't tell me

It's a grief to me, I'll tell you why
Because she has more gold than I
But her gold will melt and her silver fly
And of time of need, she'll be poor as I

She went upstairs to make her bed
And nothing to her mother said
Her mother came upstairs to me
Saying "What's the matter, daughter dear"

"Oh mother, mother you do not know
What a grief and pain and sorrow woe
Go get a chair and set me down
And a pen and ink for to write it down"

On every line she dropped a tear
While calling home her Willie dear
And when her father did come home
He said "Where has my daughter gone"

He went upstairs to give her hope
and found her hanging by a rope
He took his knife and he cut her down
And in her breast these lines he found

"Oh what a silly maid am I
For to hang myself for the butcher boy
Go dig my grave both long and deep
Place a marble stone at my head and feet
And on my breast place a turtle dove
To show this world I died for love"

I wish I wish but all in vain
I wish that I were a maid again
But a maid again I never shall be
Til an orange grows on a willow tree [Atwood also suggests, "til a peach grows on an apple tree"]

References:

Duration

4:30

Citation

Atwood, Fred, “OT2003-3012-006 -- Butcher Boy,” Vermont Folklife Center Digital Collections, accessed July 30, 2014, http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/digital-archive/collections/items/show/1125.