O as I was a-walking down by yon mill-town,
The fair and lovely mountains they did me surround;
'Twas there I saw a fair maid, and to me she looked grand;
She was plucking wild roses on the banks of the Bann.
So I stepped up to this fair one, and to her I did say,
"Since nature has formed us for to meet on this day --
Since nature has formed us, won't you give me your hand,
And we will walk together on the banks of the Bann."
Now it being a summer's evening and a fine quiet place,
I knew by the blushes that appeared on her face....
We both lay down together unto a bed of sand,
And she rolled into my arms on the banks of the Bann.
"O young man, you have wronged me; won't you tell me your name,
That when my babe is born I may give it the same?"
"My name is Willie Archer, and I'd have you understand
That my home and habitation lie close by the Bann.
"But I cannot marry you, for apprenticed I'm bound
To the spinning and the weaving in Rathfriland town.
But when my time is over I will give you my hand
And we will be married on the banks of the Bann."
So come all you fair maidens, take warning by me:
Don't go out a-courting at one, two, or three.
Don't go out a-courting so late if you can,
Or you'll meet with Willie Archer on the banks of the Bann.