Collins, Judy - Pretty Polly Lyrics

"Polly, Pretty Polly, come go long with me-
Polly, Pretty Polly, come go long with me-
Before we get married, some pleasure to see"

She jumped up behind him and away they did ride-
She jumped up behind him, away they did go-
Over the mountains, and valleys so low.

"Oh Willie, oh Willie, I'm a feared for my life-
Oh Willie, oh Willie, I'm a feared for my life-
I'm afraid you mean to murder me, and leave me behind.."

"Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, you guessed about right-
Polly, Pretty Polly, you guessed about right-
I've been diggin' your grave, for the best part of last night."

She knelt down before him, pleading for her life-
She knelt down before him, pleading for her life,
"Let me be a single girl, if I cant be your wife.."

He stabbed her to the heart, and her heart blood did flow-
He stabbed her to the heart, and her heart blood did flow-
And into the grave, Pretty Polly did go.

He through a little dirt on her and started for home-
He through a little dirt over her and started for home-
Leaving nobody there, but the wild birds to moan..

A debt to the devil, Willie must pay-
A debt to the devil, Willie must pay-
For killing Pretty Polly, and running, and running, and running, and running away.

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Collins, Judy Pretty Polly Comments
  1. Rev. J. Roger Allen

    Who are the 4 idiots who don't like this?

  2. artec0

    Great to come across different songs by Judy after 50 years of listening.

  3. Cheryl Furlong

    One of my favorites by Judy after the Blizzard and Melody. The song is like attending a play.

  4. Doug Helms

    This whole album is absolutely incredible.

  5. Butch Morrow

    The muting affect on the guitar in the background of this song reminds me of what Stephen Stills would do with Crosby Stills and Nash on Wooden Ships,after this time.

  6. Rev. J. Roger Allen

    This is the best version by far. I remember it in 1963 when I was 12 years old.


    This record came out in 1968. Still has the same power!

  7. David Ells

    This one's for you, Harvey & Bill

  8. Ray Harris

    Such a beautiful voice.

  9. MrSprite69

    I learned this song from Joan Beaz. But wasn't near as good as this. Thank you Stills

  10. 생각돈보

    왜 들을때마다 마음이 아려올까?...

  11. Junior viana rocky


    Lucy Warner


  12. Fish Man


  13. MrVidification

    rock band Queen Adreena did a cover of this. I think it's a different song to Bob Dylans PP

  14. mutualmonster

    Glad I happened upon the original -- despite having listened to a fair amount of '60s rock and folk, until this point I'd only heard Teebs' take on "Pretty Polly," featuring sampled snatches of Collins' vocals.

    Eric L

    This isn't the original . This song is over a century old.

    mark stafford

    Try two centuries plus- it has its roots in 'the gosport tragedy' - dated to 1760 or thereabouts, and may be based on a true murder case from 1726. Song's got legs.

    Eric L

    mark stafford Two centuries is still more than a century. Thank you for playing.


    mutualmonster same!

  15. Greg Carrier

    My favorite Judy Collins track -- and there are lots of great ones.

  16. Athena Hitchin

    Still's guitar work sounds like the same style as his work with Neil Young on "Down By the River".

  17. Dan Saver

    Good for an old hippy.

  18. mark thompson

    astounding powerful song great vocal of Judy Collins

  19. Tina Coleman

    Although Judy sings this with a blues sound, i'm wondering if it is a traditional Appalachian song.....


    +Tina Coleman It is version of a traditional English folk song from the early 1700's "The Gosport Tragedy".

    Isabel Sena

    +Tina Coleman
    Try listening to the versionby Vandeveer, which is also available on Yuotube. It's really powerful. It's an old English murder ballad.

  20. Edward Charlson

    I love that Stephen Stills played on this album..his Sweet Judy Blue Eyes

  21. Edward Charlson

    One of my Top Three songs of all time...


    tell me the other 2 (:

    Kamil Kustosz

    what are the other two songs?

  22. Sandy Sandy

    I loved it , i never heard judy sing bluesy like this . she can do no wrong ! so haunting  .

  23. James Gloeckner

    Well excuse...Impetuous...YOUTH!!!

  24. Rhianna Barr-Beaumont

    Do you think Polly was pregnant by Willie and he didn't want the child so he killed her?


    @Rhianna Barr It could be. This song is very similar to another traditional murder ballad called "Down in the Willow Garden". The best version in my opinion is the one by Tim O'brien. Give it a listen if you haven't before, it's quite a good listen.

    Cori Jones

    @Rhianna Barr. Duh. Moat of these murdered maidens were, Of course there were a few serial killers floating about, as in Steeleye Span's "The Elf Knight." He didn't get far: the 8th king's daughter took care of him

    thomas Romano

    There are so many versions of this song. I don't think the explanation is that clear of why he killed her. It's such a popular folk song, with a lot of different versions.

    Rey Mohammed

    Rhianna Barr
    There is some consensus that this was so. Two or three versions indicate he may even have married her and then murdered her, so that he would be free to marry more advantageously, but most American versions strip down any "logical" reasons until you are left with sheer, murderous cruelty.

  25. Tommy Bruner

    Stephen Stills on guitar. No question about it.


    That's what I was thinking, too.

  26. dan fiore


  27. Mark Holman

    I've always loved her voice ever since Whales and Nightingales"

  28. Mark Holman

    I have always loved her voice ever since "whales and nightingales"

  29. Mark Holman

    I have always loved her voice ever since "whales and nightingales"

  30. BobM760

    House of Cards

    Andrew Tataj

    I knew it before then, but it's what brought me back too...


    it fits so perfect in this moment <3

  31. 煙の波Tajh


  32. Andrew Helbig

    I really like this song, her voice kind of contrasts the bluesy folk rock in the background.  I haven't heard much of Judy Collins, just a few albums, does anyone know of more stuff like this?

  33. stickyfinngaz

    Thanks so much for uploading this, not heard this version since I was very little & been looking for it!

    V G

    stickyfinngaz same here