“My Blue-Eyed Boy”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1909 (Belden)
Keywords: love beauty separation death suicide
Found in: US(MW,So) Ireland


Floating verses on the subject of lost love, usually borrowed from "The Butcher Boy" and/or a "Pretty Little Foot" variant. The wide and deep grave carved with a turtle dove may also be present. Identified by the line "Bring me back my blue-eyed boy"


This is so close to "The Butcher Boy" that I almost listed them as one song. But where "The Butcher Boy" is relatively coherent, this is little more than a lament composed of floating verses and the complaint "Bring me back my blue-eyed boy." So I've listed them separately -- but there *are* intermediate versions. Sandburg, for instance, has once (p. 324, "Go Bring Me Back My Blue-Eyed Boy," with the suicide theme intact, so I list it with "The Butcher Boy" -- but it has this chorus). -- RBW

Cross references



  1. Bronson 76, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (23 versions, of which #11 appears to belong here)
  2. Belden, pp. 478-480, "The Blue-Eyed Boy" (4 texts, though "D" is a fragment, probably of "Tavern in the Town" or "The Butcher Boy" or some such)
  3. Randolph 759, "My Blue-Eyed Boy" (3 short texts, 1 tune)
  4. BrownIII 257, "The Blue-Eyed Boy" (2 text, though the second is rather distantly related)
  5. Brewster 85, "The Blue-Eyed Boy" (1 text)
  6. LPound-ABS, 102, pp. 212-213, "My Blue-Eyed Boy" (1 text)
  7. SHenry H482, pp. 391-392, "Bring Me Back the Boy I Love"; H692, p. 392, "Never Change the Old Love for the New" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  9. Roud #60
  10. BI, R759