It was in the merry, merry month of May
When the green buds, they were swelling
Young William green on his deathbed lay
For the love of Barbara Ellen

He sent his servant to her town
To the place where she was dwelling
Saying master's sick and he sends for you
If your name is Barbara Ellen

So slowly, slowly she got up
And slowly she came nigh him
And all she said when she got there
"Young man, I believe you're dying"

"Oh yes, I'm low, I am very low
And death is on me dwelling
No better, no better I ever will be
For I can't get Barbara Ellen"

"Oh yes, you're low, you are very low
And death is on you dwelling
No better, no better you ever will be
For you can't get Barbara Ellen"

Oh don't you remember in yonder's town
In yonder's town a drinking
You raised your glass all around
And you slighted Barbara Ellen

Oh yes, I remember in yonder's town
In yonder's town a drinking
I gave my health to the ladies all around
But my heart to Barbara Ellen

He turned his pale face to the wall
For death was on him dwelling
"Adieu, adieu, good neighbors all
Adieu sweet Barbara Ellen"

As she was going across the fields
She heard those death bells knelling
And every stroke the dead-bell gave
"Hard-hearted Barbara Ellen"

"Oh mother, Mother, make my bed
Go make it long and narrow
Young William's died for me today
And I'll die for him tomorrow"

Oh, she was laid in the old church wall
And he was buried nigh her
And out of his bosom grew a red, red rose
And out of hers a briar

They grew, they grew up the old church tower
Till they could grow no higher
They locked and they tied in a true lover's knot
The red rose around the briar
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Barbara Ellen Lyrics

Isobel Campbell – Barbara Ellen Lyrics