Lyrics to The Butcher Boy

Lyrics to the song The Butcher Boy as recorded by Bryan Ferry.

The Butcher Boy (Traditional)

 She went upstairs to make her bed.
And not one word to her mother said.
Her mother she went upstairs too,
saying: "daughter oh daughter, what's troubling you?"

"Oh mother oh mother I cannot tell.
 It's that railroad boy that looks so well.
 He's courted me my life away.
And now at home I long to stay.

 "There is a place in London town
 where my love goes and he sits there down.
 And he takes a strange girl on his knee,
 and he tells to her what he won't tell me."

Her father he came home from work,
saying: "where's my daughter, she seems so hurt."
He went upstairs to give her hope,
and he found her hanging by the rope.

He took a knife and he cut her down.
And on her bosom these words he found:
"Go dig my grave both wide and deep.
Put a marble stone at my head and feet.

"And on my grave put a snow white dove
 to tell the world: 'she died of love.' "

The Butcher Boy


The Butcher Boy Was performed by Bryan Ferry at the Harry Smith Tribute Performance in the Royal Festival Hall London on 2nd July 1999. This was a one off performance with a song called John Hardy.

Bryan has never recorded this track.

The Railroad Boy (The Butcher boy )Traditional
Buell Kazee 1928 A banjo player and Baptist minister.

There are elements in this song of some 18th century English ballads like" In London City where I did dwell" and "In Tarrytown".
Joan Baez recorded the song as Railroad Boy.

"The Butcher Boy" is also known as "I'll Die For You." And "I Died For Love," among other titles. (Ferry actually sings another variation of it--"The Railroad Boy.")

Song Musicians

The Butcher Boy is on the following Roxy Music and Solo Albums