What's Poor Mary Weepin' For (Poor Jenny Sits A-Weeping)
DESCRIPTION: "Poor (Mary/Jenny/Nellie/Sally) sits a-weeping, sits a-weeping, sits a-weeping, Poor Mary sits a-weeping All on a summer's day." "What's poor Mary weeping for...." "Because she wants to see her lad." "Rise up and choose another love."
EARLIEST DATE: 1898 (Gomme)
KEYWORDS: playparty courting separation love
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
GreigDuncan8 1606, "O Mary Stands a-Weeping" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
Opie-Game 80, "Poor Jenny" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Montgomerie-ScottishNR 70, "(Oh, what is Jeannie weeping for)" (1 text)
cf. "Little Sally Walker" (lyrics)
cf. "Poor Mary Sits A-Weeping (I)" (lyrics)
NOTES [50 words]: There are versions of this which look a little like "Little Sally Walker," but the overall thrust is different enough that I had no hesitation in splitting them.
The version I know best is that recorded by Jeannie Robertson and picked up by the Fisher Family; I've used her title on that basis. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.