The Butcher Boy cover
The Butcher Boy cover

The Butcher Boy Lyrics Meanings
by Tommy Makem


The Butcher Boy Lyrics

In London city where I did dwell
A butcher boy, I loved right well
He courted me, my life away
But now with me, he will not stay

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I was a maid again
A maid again I ne'er will be
'Til cherries grow on an apple tree

I wish my baby it was born
And smiling on its daddy's knee
And me poor girl to be dead and gone
With the long green grass growing over me

She went upstairs to go to bed
And calling to her mother said
"Give me a chair 'til I sit down
And a pen and ink 'til I write down"

At every word she dropped a tear
And at every line cried "Willie dear
Oh, what a foolish girl was I
To be led astray by a butcher boy"

He went upstairs and the door he broke
He found her hanging from a rope
He took his knife and he cut her down
And in her pocket, these words he found

Oh, make my grave large, wide and deep
Put a marble stone at my head and feet
And in the middle, a turtle dove
That the world may know, that I died for love

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