When I first come to this country in eighteen and forty nine,
Well, I saw many fair lovyers, but I never saw mine.
I view'd all around me, saw I was quite alone,
And me a poor stranger and a long way from home.
Well, it's not this long journey I'm'a dreadin' for to go.
Nor the country I'm'a leavin', or the debts that I owe.
There's only one thing that troubles my mind.
That's leavin' my darling, Pretty Saro, behind.
Fare thee well to old mother. Fare thee well to father too.
I'm leaving for to ramble this wide world all through.
And when I get weary, I'll sit down and cry,
And think of my darling, Pretty Saro, my bride.
My love she won't have me so I understand.
She wants a freeholder and I have no land,
But I could maintain her on silver and gold,
And buy all the other fine things that a big house could hold.
I wish't I was a poet, and could write some fine hand.
I would write my love a letter that she might understand.
And I'd send it by the waters where the islands overflow,
And I'll dream of Pretty Saro wherever I go.
Well I strove through the mountains, and I strove through the main.
And I strove to forget her, but it was all in vain.
On the banks of Old Chloe, to the mount of Said Brow
Where I once loved her dearly, and I don't hate her now.
Down in some lonesome valley in a lonesome place,
Where the small birds does whistle, and their notes do increase,
My love she is handsome, both proper and neat.
I can't think of no better pastime than to be with my sweet.
If I were a turtle dove, had wings and could fly,
Right now to my lover's lodging tonight I'd draw nigh.
And in her lily-white arms I would lie there all night.
And I'd watch the little winders for the dawning of day.