Willie Archer

Also known as The Banks of the Bann (although not to be confused with the famous song of the same name as sung by the Voice Squad) this is a regular in Roisin White’s repertoire. It was also recorded by The Sands Family on Two Generations at Home. Scottish band The Silly Wizard also sing a version. And Crubeen have recorded the song.







Choir singing (9th January 2017)




As I went a-walking down by the Hilltown
The lovely green mountains they did me surround
I spied a pretty fair maid and to me she looked grand and
She was plucking wild roses on the banks of the Bann

Well I stepped up to this fair maid and to her I did say
Since nature has formed us to meet in this way
Since nature has formed us won’t you give me your hand and
We’ll both walk together on the banks of the Bann

It was there in a corner where the charge it took place
And I knew by the look that appeared on her face
Her feet, they fell from her on the soft bed of sand and
She fell into my arms on the banks of the Bann

Oh young man you have wronged me, won’t you tell me your name
So that when my baby’s born, I can give it the same
My name is Willie Archer and you must understand and
My home and habitation lie close to the Bann

But I cannot marry you for I am apprentice bound
To the spinning and the weaving in Rathfriland town
But when my term is ended I’ll give you my hand and
We will be married on the banks of the Bann

So come all ye pretty fair maids take a warning by me
Don’t go out a-courting by one two or three
Don’t go out a-courting so late in the night for
You might meet Willie Archer on the banks of the Bann