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The False Bride

Widespread through England and Scotland.
Some sources date back to the 17th century.
Tune: from Scotland.

    The week before Easter, the day being fair
    The sun shining brightly, cold frost in the air
    I went into the forest some flowers to find there
    And there I did pick my love a posy.

    O I loved a lass and I loved her so well
    I hated all others who spoke of her ill
    But now she's rewarded me well for my love
    For she's gone and she's married another.

    When I saw my love to the church go
    With bridesmen and bridesmaids she made a fine show
    And I followed on with my heart full of woe
    To see my love wed to another.

    The parson who married them aloud he did cry
    All that forbid it I'd have you draw nigh
    Thought I to myself I'd have a good reason why
    Though I had not the heart to forbid it.

    And when I saw my love sit down to meat
    I sat down beside her but nothing could eat
    I thought her sweet company better than meat
    Although she was tied to another.

    And when the bridesmaidens had dressed her for bed
    I stepped in amongst them and kissed the bride
    And wished that I could have been laid by her side
    And by that means I'd got me the favour.

    The men in yon forest they are asking me
    How many wild strawberries grow in the salt-sea
    And I answer them back with a tear in my eye
    How many ships sail in the forest.

    Go dig me a grave that is long, wide and deep
    And cover it over with flowers so sweet
    That I may lay down there and take a long sleep
    And that's the best way to forget her.

    So they've dug him a grave and they've dug it so deep
    And they've covered it over with flowers so sweet
    And he has lain down there to take a long sleep
    And maybe by now he's forgotten.

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