The Blacksmith (A Blacksmith Courted Me)

A Blacksmith courted me, nine months or better
He fairly won my heart, wrote me a letter
With his hammer in his hand, he looked quite clever
And if I were with my love, I would live forever

But where is my love gone, with his cheeks like roses
And his good black billycock on, all crowned with primroses
I’m afraid the scorching sun, will shine and burn his beauty
And if I was with my love, I’d do my duty

Strange news has come to town, strange news is carried
Strange news flies up and down, that my love he’s married
I wish them both much joy though they can’t hear me
And may God reward them well for the slighting of me

Don’t you remember well, when you lay beside me
And you said you’d marry me and not deny me
If I said I’d marry you, it was only for to try you
But bring your witness love, and I’ll not deny you

Oh witness have I none, save God almighty
And may he reward you well, for the slighting of me
Her lips grew pale and wan, it made her poor heart tremble
To think she loved a one and he proved deceitful.


“The Blacksmith” is Irvine’s adaptation of “a well-known song from the south of England”.

“The Blacksmith” (Roud 816) is a traditional English folk song, also known as “A Blacksmith Courted Me”. The song was noted down by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1909 from a Mrs Ellen Powell of Westhope near Weobley, Herefordshire.

Andy sourced this song from “The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs”.

Also known as “A Blacksmith Courted Me”.


One comment

  1. The Planxty version of the song is quite a masterwork, capturing the emotions in the arc of a love affair, and expressed to accurately through changes in time signature and instruments–moving from the tender beginnings to the utter madness the pain of a failed love brings. Every time I hear this tune it stops me in my tracks and fills me with awe. Truly one of the great romantic folk songs of our era.


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