“The False Young Man (The Rose in the Garden, As I Walked Out)”

Alternate titles: “Johnny's The Lad I Love”; “White Oak Mountain”; “Rocky Mountain Side”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1908 (collected by Olive Dame Campbell; in SharpAp); +1876 (Christie, _Traditional Ballad Airs I_)
Keywords: love courting separation infidelity lie rejection lyric
Found in: Canada(Ont) Britain(England(South),Scotland) Ireland US(Ap,MA,SE)


The young man greets the girl after a long separation and asks her to sit down with him. She will not; "You've given your heart to another one...." She remembers his strange oaths, and says young men will prove true when fish fly like birds.

Supplemental text

False Young Man, The (The Rose in the Garden, As I Walked Out)
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

The False Young Man

From Edith Fulton Fowke, editor, and Richard Johnston, music editor,
Folk Songs of Canada (first edition), pp. 166-168. From
Come A-Singing, where it is called "A Rose in the Garden."

"Oh, come, sit down close to me, my dear,
  While I sing you a merry song.
'Tis now for us well over a year
  Since together you and I have been;
Since together you and I have been, my dear,
  Since together you and I have been.
'Tis now for us well over a year
  Since together you and I have been."

(3 additional stanzas)

          *** B ***

Come Along, My Own True Love

From Dorothy Scarborough, On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs,
p. 41. Apparently collected by "Grandma Ball."

Come along, my own true love,
  And set you down by me.
Hit's been three-quarters of a year or more
  Sence I spoke ary word with thee,
  Sence I spoke ary word with thee.

I won't set down and I shan't set down,
  For I have not a moment of time,
Sence I've heard you're engaged with another fair maid
  Nor your heart's no longer mine,
  Nor your heart's no longer mine.

(2 additional stanzas)


In America, this has become almost purely lyric (consider "White Oak Mountain":

"I will never believe a young man any more

Let his eyes be blue, black, or brown

Save he were on the top of a high gallows tree

A-swearing he wished to come down!") -- so much so that I originally classified the versions separately. But there are enough intermediate forms to prove identity.

The song also mixes somewhat with "Foggy Mountain Top," itself a largely mixed and incoherent piece. Short lyric texts might perhaps go with either. - RBW

Cross references



  1. BrownII 83, "As I Stepped Out Last Sunday Morning" (2 texts); 162, "The One Forsaken" (1 text, entirely of floating lyrics, but some of them, and the theme, are this song)
  2. Ord, p. 174, "The Fause Young Man" (1 text)
  3. OLochlainn-More 8, "The Verdant Braes of Skreen" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. McBride 2, "As I Roved Out" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. SharpAp 94, "The False Young Man" (10 texts, 10 tunes)
  6. Scarborough-SongCatcher, p. 41, "Come Along, My Own True Love" (1 text, with a first verse that might have floated in from "Young Hunting" or the like); pp. 270-272, "The False Young Man" (3 short texts plus an excerpt, with local titles "Come Along, My Own True Love," "Set You Down, My Own True Love," "As I Walked Out One May Morning"; 1 tune on p. 428 )
  7. Fowke/Johnston, pp. 166-168, "The False Young Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. Wyman-Brockway II, p. 50, "As I Walked Out" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Kennedy 153, "The False Young Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. SHenry H593, pp. 389-390, "My Love John" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. Hayward-Ulster, pp. 41-42, "The Verdant Braes o' Skreen" (1 text)
  12. ST FJ166 (Partial)
  13. Roud #419
  14. BI, FJ166