This was the first song we recorded, just the kid and myself, with him handling the drums and bass. We recorded it the night I got dumped, Christmas eve I believe? We were trying to call up and exorcise pain through music. It didn’t work.
It’s an old song, dating back at least to the 1680s (The Forlorn Lover). It’s thought to be Scottish originally (I Loved A Lass), and far more sentimental than the typical Scottish “me bonny dumped me” song. The British turned it into a broadside, 17th and 18th century sheet music, that era’s equivalent of a single. It goes by a plethora of other titles, including “The False Bride,” “The Week Before Easter”, “The False Hearted Lover”, “The Forsaken Bridegroom” or “Love Is The Cause Of My Mourning” or “The False Nymph”.
There’s also an Irish version, which I believe is this one. We stole it from the Irish group Dervish, which come out of county Sligo.
I believe we recorded three songs that night, this was the only one we finished on the spot. Somewhere in the overdubs I left sobriety behind, and didn’t return for the duration of the album.
I Courted A Wee Girl
I courted a wee girl for many’s the long day,
And slighted all others who came in my way.
But now she’s rewarded me to the last day;
She’s gone to be wed to another.
The bride and bride’s party to church they did go.
The bride she rode foremost she put the best show
And I rode behind, my heart filled with woe
To see my love wed to another.
The bride and bride’s party, in church they did stand,
Gold rings on their fingers, a love hand in hand
The man that she’s wed to has houses and land—
He may have her since I could not gain her.
The last time I saw her she was all dressed in white;
The more I gazed on her she dazzled my sight,
So I tipped her my hat and bade her goodnight.
Here’s bad luck to all false-hearted lovers
So dig me a grave and dig it down deep,
And strew it all over with primrose so sweet.
And lay me down in it for no more for to weep,
For love was the cause of my ruin.