After yesterday’s post, it got me looking around and listening to more music from the marvelous Sean Cannon. There are a couple of songs in the tradition that go by the title of The Banks of the Bann. Here’s a version subtitled “Willie Archer.”
The Banks of the Bann (Willie Archer)
Oh, as I was a-walking all down by the town,
Those lovely green mountains they did me surround,
‘Twas there I spied a maiden and to me she looked grand.
She was plucking wild roses by the banks of the Bann.
I quickly approached her and to her I did say,
“Since Nature has ordain-ed, we should meet in this way,
Since Nature has ordained it, come give me your hand,
And we will walk together by the banks of the Bann.
It was into a corner where the changes took place.
I knew by the blood that beat on her face.
Her feet they fell from her on a neat bed of sand
And she fell into my arms by the banks of the Bann.
“Oh, young man, now that you’ve wronged me, come give me your name
So that when the child is born I might call him the same.”
“My name is Willie Archer as you may understand
And my home and habitation lie close to the Bann.”
“But I cannot marry you, I’m apprenticed and bound
To the spinning and the weaving in Rathfriland town,
But when my time is over I will give you my hand
And we will walk together by the banks of the Bann.”
Come all you fair maidens and take warning by me —
Well don’t go out a-courting by one, two, or three,
No don’t go out a-courting by three, two, or one
For you might meet Willie Archer by the banks of the Bann.