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Woman at the Churchyard Gate

Woman at the churchyard gate, song / Kitty Shields, singing in English

Woman at the churchyard gate, song / Kitty Shields, singing in English

Woman at the churchyard gate
Oo - oo - ooh, aa - aa - aa - aah
Very dark and very late
Oo - oo - ooh, aa - aa - aa - aah

All verses similarly

Corpses three were carried in
Very tall and very thin

Woman to the corpses said
‘Will I be like that when I’m dead?’

Corpses to the woman said
‘Aa - aa - aa - aargh!’

Notes from Hugh Shields

Widely known in Britain and America, often as the “Skin-and bone lady.” For other references see Opie and Opie’s The lore and language of schoolchildren (1967:37); Cox’s Folk songs of the South (1967:482–83); Halliwell’s The nursery rhymes of England (1842:64–65). The lugubrious broadside “Death and the lady” was probably a source of inspiration.