Mudcat Café message #3856737 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161981   Message #3856737
Posted By: Richie
23-May-17 - 09:52 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Died for Love Sources: PART IV
Subject: RE: Origins: Died for Love Sources: PART IV
TY Steve,

This is the second extant printed version from my North American collection. It is the first with the suicide and curiously, it is from an African-American source in North Carolina.

From: The Young Woman's Journal, Volume 11, dated 1900 by Mrs. Henry Purmort Eames. It was collected by Henry Purmort Eames probably before 1898. It is a North Carolina song written in dialect:

"MY SWEET WILLIAM."

Oh! captain, captain, tell me true,
Does my sweet Willyum sail with you?
Oh! captain, captain, tell me true,
Is my sweet Willyum with the gallant crew?

Oh no! fair maid, he is not heah,
He's drownded in some deep, I feah,
The night was dark, and the winds blewed high,
And I lost the sight of my sailor-boy.

She wrung'd her hands, she tored her ha'ah,
Jest like-a-fair maid, all in despa-ah!
She wrung'd her hands, she tored her ha-ah,
Crying, Oh! my haht is in despa'ah.

She went home to write a song:
She wrote it true, she wrote it long;
On every word she dropped a teah.
On every line cried. "Oh, my deah."

Eight lawyers they came a-riding by,
And saw her a-hangin' on a limb so high,
They took a axe and cut her down.
An' on her bress' these words was foun':

Go dig my grave both wide and deep;
Place a marble toom at my head an' feet:
An' on my breash a turtle duv,
To inform this worl' I died fur lov.

Richie