House Carpenter


Cathy - vocal; Dave - guitar, vocal; David Wilson - mandolin, vocal; Lou Whitney - bass

The "Deamon Lover" is one of the most widely reported Child ballads in U.S. This Ozark version comes from a recording of Noble Cowden, of Cushman, Ark., on "Not Far From Here," (Arkansas Traditions). Noble said the song had been in her family for generations, though she added her own Travis-style guitar accompaniment.

Well met, well met, well met, said he.
Well met, well met, said she,
For I have come to these hilly lands
And it's all for the sake of thee.

Well you have married a house carpenter,
And a fine looking gentleman is he;
But if you will leave your house carpenter
And run away with me
I'll take you to the place where the grass grows tall,
By the rivers of sweet Willie

She picked up her darling little babe
And kisses gave it three,
Saying, stay at home you darling little babe
For to keep your papa company.

They hadn't been on the sea two weeks,
I'm sure it was not three,
When this young lady was found weeping.
She was weeping most bitterly.

O, is it for my gold you weep,
Or is it for my store?
Or is it for your house carpenter
That you never will see anymore?

It is not for your gold I weep,
Nor is it not for your store.
It's only for that darling little babe
That I never will see anymore.

What is those banks, those banks I see
That look as white as snow?
It is the banks of heaven, I know,
Where your darling little baby will go.

What is those banks, those banks I see
That look so dark and low?
It is the banks of hell, I know,
Where you and I must go.

They had not been on the sea three weeks,
I'm sure it was not four,
Till from the deck there sprung a leak
And their voices wasn't heard anymore.

O, cursed be those sea-sailing men,
O, cursed be their lives
For robbing of little house carpenters

And stealing away their wives.