A Rich Irish Lady

A rich Irish lady from Ireland came,
A beautiful lady called Saro by name.
Her riches were more than a king could possess,
Her beauty was more than her wealth at its best.

A charming young gentleman courtin’ her came,
Courtin’ this lady called Saro by name.
“O, Saro! O, Saro! O, Saro!” said he,
“I’m afraid that my ruin forever you’ll be.

“I’m afraid that my ruin forever you’ll prove,
Unless you turn all of your hatred to love.”
“No hatred to you nor to no other man,
But this, for to love you, is more than I can.

“So, end all your sorrows, and drop your discourse,
I’ll never have you unless I am forced.”
Six months appeared and five years had passed,
When I heard of this lady’s misfortune at last.

She lay wounded by love, and she knew not for why;
She sent for this young man whom she had denied.
“Then am I your doctor, and am I your cure?
Am I your protector that you sent for me here?”

“Yes, you are my doctor, and you are my cure;
Without your protection I’ll die I am sure.”
“O, Saro! O, Saro! O, Saro!” said he,
“Don’t you remember when I first courted thee?

“I asked you in kindness, you answered in scorn,
I’ll never forgive you for times past and gone.”
“Times past and gone I hope you’ll forgive,
And grant me some longer in comfort to live.”

“I’ll never forgive you as long as I live,
I’ll dance on your grave, love,
when you’re laid in the ground.”
Then off of her fingers gold rings she pulled three,
Saying, “Take them and wear them when you’re dancing on me.

“Adieu, kind friends, adieu all around;
Adieu to my true love—God make him a crown;
I freely forgive him, although he won’t me,
My follies ten thousand times over I see.”


Irvine learnt “The Rich Irish Lady” from an album Peggy Seeger recorded in the late 1950s.


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