A. L. Lloyd, in his book "Folk Song in England," remarks that this tune collected by Cecil Sharp in Somerset provides a striking example of the variability of the third and seventh steps in the "modal folk song scale." Sharp had Fanny Blair accusing a youth of robbery; here, at eleven years of age, she is accusing an apparently innocent young man of rape.
Come all you young fellows wherever that you be
Beware of false witness and sad perjury
For by a young female I'm wounded full soon
And you see I'm cut down in the height of my bloom.
It was last Monday morning, I lay in my bed
A young man came to me and unto me said
Rise up, Henry Higgins, and flee you elsewhere
For they're bound out against you on the word of Fanny Blair.
Fanny Blair is a young girl of eleven years old
And though I were dying the truth must be told
It's I never had dealings with her in my time
But now I must die die for another man's crime.
The trial it was on and Squire Vernon was there
And onto the table they lifted Fanny Blair
Well, the lies she came out with I'm ashamed to tell
But the judge spoke up quickly, saying, You've told us it well.
Now when the people all heard that young Higgins was to die,
They rose up against her with a murmuring cry
We'll catch her and crop her, she's a perjuring young whore
Young Higgins is innocent, of that we're all sure.
Just one last request before I meet my doom
Don't bury me in the prison yard so far from my home
Lay my body to rest in the sweet Bramwell mould
And I pray the Lord pardon that little girl's soul.