Molly Bán


I was first introduced to this song from a Chieftains recording with Allison Krauss.  You can still catch that performance on YouTube HERE.  This song and story also goes by the name Polly Vaughn and every combinations of those names.  Some versions go into the trial of the murderer.  This version focuses on the loss of his own Molly Bán or fair Molly.  Michelle Levy added two fiddle tracks all by ear.  In other words, she improvised one track and then went back and harmonized with her first fiddle track without the aid of writing anything down.  The result is a fiddle duet that, in my opinion, echoes the story and symbolizes the two lovers.


Come all ye young fellows that handle a gun

Beware of night rambling by the setting of the sun.

 

And beware of an accident that happened of late

To young Molly Bán and sad was her fate.

 

She was going to her uncle’s when a shower came on.

She went under a green bush the shower to wash on.

 

Her white apron wrapped around her he took her for a swan

But a hush and a sigh ‘twas his own Molly Bán.

 

He quickly ran to her and found she was dead

And there on her bosom many salt tears he shed.

 

He ran home to his father with his gun in his hand.

Saying father, dear father, I have shot Molly Bán.

 

Her white apron wrapped around her he took her for a swan

But a hush and a sigh ‘twas his own Molly Bán.

 

He roamed near the place where his true love she was slain

He wept bitter tears, but his cries were in vain.

 

As he looked on the lake, a swan glided by

And the sun slowly sank in the gray of the sky.


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