My Dearest Dear

DESCRIPTION: "My dearest dear, the times draws near When I and you must part, And no one knows the inner grief Of my poor aching heart." The (girl) wishes that they could stay together; (s)he promises to love (him) till (s)he dies, and begs that he write to her
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1906 (Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety)
KEYWORDS: love separation lyric nonballad parting floatingverses
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber)) US(Ap,SE,So,SW)
REFERENCES (22 citations):
Bronson 76, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (23 versions, of which #18, #20, and #22 perhaps go here)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 484-486, "Banishment" (1 text)
Randolph 18, "Oh Who Will Shoe My Foot?" (8 texts, 5 tunes; the "B," "D," "F," and "H" versions are of this sort) {F=Bronson's #18}; 760, "I Love You Well" (4 texts plus an excerpt, 1 tune)
Arnold-FolkSongsofAlabama, pp. 14-15, "Winter's Night" (1 text, 1 tune, very heavily composite, starting with "As I rode out last winter's night," then two "Pretty little foot" verses, then "Lonesome dove" verses and ending with "I wish to the Lord I'd never been born") {Bronson's #22}
Davis-TraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 21, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (of the various texts in the appendices, at least "G" seems to belong here) {Bronson's #20}
Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains, pp. 314-317, "The Time Has Come, My Dearest Dear" (2 texts; 1 tune on p. 440)
Sulzer-TwentyFiveKentuckyFolkBallads, p. 8, "Unto Me the Time Drew Near" (1 text)
Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana 90, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text, which despite the title appears closer to this song than that)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 77, "My Dearest Dear" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 40, "My Dearest Dear" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bush-FSofCentralWestVirginiaVol2, pp. 102-103, "A-Roving On One Winter's Night" (1 text, 1 tune)
Jones-MinstrelOfTheAppalachians-Bascom-Lamar-Lunsford, p. 243,"Little Turtle Dove" (1 text, 1 tune, a composite of floating verses, some of which perhaps belong here)
Greig/Duncan8 1540, "Time's Drawing On, Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson-BalladsOfTheKentuckyHighlands, p. 112, "When You and I Must Part" (1 text)
Wells-TheBalladTree, pp. 119-120, "The Little Turtle Dove" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams/Foss-AngloAmericanFolksongStyle, pp. 52-53, "Time Draws Near" (1 text, 1 tune)
McNeil-SouthernMountainFolksong, pp. 102-104, "Time Draws Near" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 108, "Winter's Night" (1 text, 1 tune, beginning with lyrics from this song but with final verses more characteristic of "The Storms Are on the Ocean")
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, pp. 126-127, "The Lover's Lament" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune)
Browne-AlabamaFolkLyric 40, "The Blackest Crow" (1 fragment of a single stanza, 1 tune, a floating verse that might go here or almost anywhere else); 43, "Woe Unto Me When the Time Draws Near" (1 text plus an excerpt, 2 tunes)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, W. Amos Abrams, "Frank Proffitt: A Legend A-Borning," Vol. XIV, No. 2 (Nov. 1966), p. 17, "The blackest crow I ever seen will surely turn to white" (1 excerpt, from Frank Proffitt, probably this although it's too short to be sure)

Roud #3601
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "Little Turtle Dove" (1928; on BLLunsford01; a composite of all sorts of floating verses, a few of which may be from here)
Doug Wallin, "The Time Draws Near" (on OldTrad2, FarMtns3)

cf. "Who Will Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot" (floating lyrics) and references there
cf. "Fare You Well, My Own True Love (The Storms Are on the Ocean, The False True Lover, The True Lover's Farewell, Red Rosy Bush, Turtle Dove)"
A-Roving on a Winter's Night
NOTES [152 words]: This is basically a lyric piece assembled from all sorts of floating materials. The first two lines are characteristic; what follows can come from almost anywhere. Doc Watson sings a version which combines parts of this song (notably the verse "A-roving on a winter's night") with portions of "My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose" (see DT REDREDR2). - RBW
The one verse of Greig/Duncan8, "Time's drawing on love, when you and I must part; There's none knows the sorrows of my poor wounded heart, For already I have suffered much and sighed many a tear, I wish I were to go with you, or you to tarry here" is very close to verses 1 and 2 of Brewster-BalladsAndSongsOfIndiana: "O to me the time draws nigh When you and I must part; But little do you think or know The grief of my poor heart.... Sure I am troubled for your sake Since you I loved too dear; I wish that I could go with you Or that you could stay here." - BS
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File: SKE40

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