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Dear Companion

[ Roud 411 ; Ballad Index R755 ; VWML CJS2/9/2364 ; trad.]

Rosie Hensley of Carmen, Madison Country, North Carolina, sang Dear Companion on August 8, 1916 to Cecil Sharp. It was printed in Volume 2 of English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians and in the EFDSS book of Appalachian traditional songs and singers from the Cecil Sharp Collection, Dear Companion.

Margaret MacArthur sang Dear Companion in 1972 on the Living Folk album Pleasant and Delightful Vol. 2.

Peta Webb and Pete Cooper sang Dear Companion in 1986 on their album The Heart Is True.

The Furrow Collective sing Dear Companion in 2016 on their second album, Wild Hog. They commented in their liner notes:

Lucy [Farrell] found this song, which is common in Appalachian tradition, in The Dulcimer Book by the Kentucky singer Jean Ritchie. It also appears in her book Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians, where the notes read:

This is our family tune, and the words are ones common in my part of the country, with the exception of the last verse which I began singing a long time ago when my ‘true love’ took another girl to the pie supper!

This video shows them at The Cumberland in Newcastle, probably in September 2016:

Lyrics

Rosie Hensley sings Dear Companion The Furrow Collective sing Dear Companion

I once had a dear companion;
Indeed, I thought his love my own,
Until a black-eyed girl betrayed me,
Then he cared no more for me.

Once I had a dear companion;
Indeed, I thought his love my own,
Until some black-eyed girl betrayed me,
And now he cares no more for me.

Just go leave me if you wish to,
It will never trouble me,
For in your heart you love another
And in my grave I'd rather die.

Just go and leave me if you wish to,
Far from this lonely world I'll flee,
For in your heart you love another
And in my grave I'd rather be.

Last night while you were sweetly sleeping,
Dreaming of some sweet repose,
While me a poor girl broken, broken hearted
Listen to the wind that blows.

Last night you were so sweetly sleeping,
Dreaming in some soft repose,
While I a poor girl broken-hearted
Was listening to the wind that blows.

When I see your babe a-laughing
It makes me think of your sweet face.
But when I see your bane a-crying
It makes me think of my disgrace.

I never did think of being without you,
I never did think of you being gone.
But all night long the wind keeps crying,
Farewell true love, I'm left alone.

(repeat second verse)

Links

See also the related song Go and Leave Me (Roud 459; G/D 6:1145).