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Are You Going to Leave Me?


Are You Going to Leave Me? is a song about the consequences of unwanted pregnancy. It shares the two verses beginning with “I wish” with the song Died for Love as sung by e.g. Joseph Taylor and Martin Carthy.

Shirley Collins sang Are You Going to Leave Me? on her and her sister Dolly’s album Love, Death & the Lady. She commented in the album’s notes that she has learned this song in a folk club but doesn’t remember where and from whom. I also can’t find it in Roud’s song index.


Shirley Collins sings Are You Going to Leave Me?

Are you going to leave me, love?
Are you going to leave me?
Would you give up your own love true
To go with a girl you never knew?

My true love stands in the bower door,
Combing down his yellow hair.
His bonny face I like to see,
I wonder if my love thinks of me?

When I wore my apron low
Couldn’t keep you from my door.
But now my apron’s to my shin
You pass me by and won’t come in.

I wish my baby it was born,
Smiling on his daddy’s knee,
And I a poor girl dead and gone
And the green grass growing over me.

Now there’s a bird in yon church yard,
They say he’s blind and cannot see.
I wish it had been the same with me
Before I kept your company.

I wish, I wish but it’s all in vain,
I wish I was a maid again.
But a maid again I’ll never be
Since that young man lay still with me.

(repeat first verse)