May Roses & Briers

"It was in the merry month of May, when the flowers were a blooming."  I came across three yellowed pages of notebook paper, all written in my grandmother's hand when she was just a girl.  I don't know if this was an exercise for school, or just something she did on her own.  But there are five versus of the old European folk ballad, all written out in cursive.

She titled the song, "Barber Allen" and referred to the girl in this love story all along as Barber instead of Barbara.  I understand that there are several variations to the old verses, so maybe the version she heard sung used "Barber."  According to the tragic story, after the two lovers died, a rose bush started growing from one grave and a green brier from another, "till they could not grow any higher.  And they tied in a true love's knot, the rose bush and the brier."

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