Digital Tradition Mirror

Imaginary Trouble

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Imaginary Trouble

There lived, as I've heard say
Down by a running water,
An old man and his wife
Who had a charming daughter.

One night Kate said to John
"I've had a troubled fancy,
I heard the waters roar
And thought upon our Nancy."

"If Tom and Nance should wed
And such a thing there may be
Their marriage might bring about
A prattling little baby."

"When that dear babe could walk
And just begin to waddle
Perchance he might come hear
And in the water paddle."

"I know he will be drowned
I hear those waters calling,
O pretty sweet baby."
And both began a-bawling.

No doubt it was but fate
That brought those lovers walking
To where old John and Kate
Were a-sighing and a-talking.

They all sat on the green
While Katie told her fancy
How they did weep and wail
Tom, old man, Kate and Nancy.

They all went crying home
Tom, old man, wife and daughter
Each night the ghost doth come
And cries upon the water.

From Traditional American Folk Songs, Warner and Warner
Collected from Lena Bourne Fish, 1940.


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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