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Bloody Gardener

  • Trad - Child 219 ?

It's of a girl so fair, and a shepherd's daughter dear
She was courted by her own dear heart's delight
But his mother laid a snare and false letters did prepare
Saying, Meet me in the garden, dear, this night

So this young girl arose and into the garden goes
Expecting there to meet her heart's delight
She searched the garden around but no true love could be found
Till at length the bloody gardener came in sight

Says he, My pretty maid, and what brings you here this way
Oh have you come to rob my flowers so gay
She cries, No thief I am, but I'm in search of some young man
Who promised that he'd meet me here today

But he took out his knife and cut her tender thread of life
And he laid her virtuous body to bleed on the ground
And with those flowers fine and gay this girl he did overlay
In a way her body never would be found

Then her true love arose and into the garden goes
And a milk-white dove came fluttering where she lay
And with battering wings so sweet all around this young man's feet
But when he rose this dove she flew away

The dove she flew away and into some myrtle tree
And the young man followed after full of pain
And it's from this tree so tall, down on her grave did fall
The fresh blood from off her breast like crimson rain

The young man in anger rose and back to his home he goes
Crying, cursed be my mother here this day
You have robbed me of my joy, my jewel and my toy
And I rue the life you ever gave to me

As sung by Martin Carthy

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1967:] A. L. Lloyd first discovered the song in a Vauxhall Gardens Songbook of c. 1770, but it did appear in several broadsides in a form very close to the one sung here. It is curious that the ballad has not attracted more attention among scholars, for the story contains very old folkloric notions. Curious too that such a primitive-fantasy song should have been sufficiently popular in 18th century pleasure gardens to have earned a place in the annual printed songbook. (Notes Martin Carthy, 'Byker Hill')

Quelle: England

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aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 08.09.99