As Sylvie Was Walking

DESCRIPTION: Sylvie, walking by the river, weeps for her lover. A young man asks the matter; she tells him that she's been deserted. She says her love will weep for her (after she dies). Astonishingly, the young man is not the departed lover, and nothing else happens.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1888 (Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle)
KEYWORDS: loneliness love abandonment lament lover dream
FOUND IN: Britain(England (South)) Australia
REFERENCES (5 citations):
VaughanWilliams/Lloyd-PenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs, p. 14, "As Sylvie Was Walking" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 44, "The Forsaken Maiden" (1 text)
Purslow-TheConstantLovers, p. 74, "Poor Sally Sat A-Weeping" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 39, "Once I Had a Sweetheart" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #170
A Maiden Sat a-Weeping
NOTES [128 words]: The song was collected from an 80-year old woman in Australia in 1911. She had emigrated in 1855, and had learned the song in her native Gloucestershire, so [it must have been in existence by 1855]. - PJS
I'm inclined to think that this is a conflate ballad: The opening comes from a Riley ballad, the rest from a lost love song of some kind, with perhaps a little of "Green Grow the Laurel" in the mix to provide floating lyrics (the Karpeles text contains quite a few "Green Grows" lines. The Digital Tradition editors file their "Once I Had a Sweetheart" text with "Green Grow," but this is more than a stretch, as is the attribution to D. Adams, since Cynthia Gooding recorded it in 1953!) - RBW
This song provides the words for Steeleye Span's "Sails of Silver." - BS
Last updated in version 5.0
File: VWL014

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