Blooming Caroline of Edinburgh Town

Come all ye men and maidens, and listen to my rhyme,
It's of a lovely damsel that was scarcely in her prime;
Her cheeks were like the roses red, and her hair was deep dark brown,
She was called the blooming Caroline of Edinburgh town.

Young Henry being a Highland lad, a-courting her he came,
And when her parents came to know they were angry at the same;
Young Henry, being offended, these words to her did say,
"Arise, my dearest Caroline, and we will run away.

"We will go to London, love, and there we'll wed with speed,
And then, my lovely Caroline, is happiness indeed."
She came tripping down the stair, with her hair all hanging down,
Away went blooming Caroline from Edinburgh town.

O'er hills and lofty mountains together they did roam,
Till they arrived in London, far from her happy home.
She said, "My dearest Henry, pray never on me frown,
Or you'll break the heart of Caroline from Edinburgh town."

They had not been in London not passing half a year,
When cruel hard-hearted Henry proved to her severe;
Says he, "My dear, I'll go to sea, since your friends will on me frown,
So beg your way, without delay, to Edinburgh town.

"The ships are fitting out, and to Spithead dropping down,
And I will join the gallant fleet to fight for King and Crown,
The gallant tars may feel the scars, or in the water drown,
But I will never return again to Edinburgh town."

Then many a day she passed away in sorrow and despair,
Her cheeks, that once like roses were, grew like the lilies fair.
She cried, "Where is my Henry?" and oft-times she did swoon,
Crying, "Sad's the day I ran away from Edinburgh town."

Oppressed with grief, without relief, this damsel she did go
Into the wood to eat such food as on the bushes grow;
Some strangers they did pity her, and some did on her frown,
And some did say, "What made you stray from Edinburgh town?"

Beneath a lofty spreading oak this maid sat down to cry,
To see the gallant ships of war as they were sailing by;
She gave three shrieks for Henry, and plunged her body down -
She was once the blooming Caroline of Edinburgh town.

A note, likewise her bonnet, she left upon the shore,
And in the note a lock of hair, with words, "I am no more,
For in the deep I'm fast asleep, the fishes watch all round;
I was once the blooming Caroline of Edinburgh town."

Now, all ye tender parents, ne'er try to part true love,
Or you're sure to see in some degree the ruin it will prove.
Likewise, young men and maidens, ne'er on your lovers frown;
Think of the fate of Caroline of Edinburgh town.

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin