The Love of Rosanna McCoy

Come and listen to my story,
Of fair Rosanna McCoy.
She loved Johnse Hatfield,
Old Devil Anse's boy.

But the McCoys and Hatfields,
Had long engaged in strife.
And never the son of a Hatfield,
Should take a McCoy to wife.

But when they met each other,
On Blackberry Creek, they say.
She was riding behind her brother,
When Johnse rode along that way.

"Who is that handsome fellow?"
She asked young Tolbert McCoy.
Said he, "Turn your head sister,"
"That's Devil Anse's boy."

But somehow they met each other,
And it grieved the Hatfields sore.
While, Randall, the young girl's father
Turned his daughter from his door.

It was down at old Aunt Betty's,
They were courting one night they say
When down came Rosanna's brothers,
And took young Johnse away.

And Rosanna's heart was heavy,
For she hoped to be his wife,
And well she knew her brothers,
Would take his precious life.

She ran to a nearby pasture
And catching a horse by the mane,
She mounted and rode like a soldier,
With neither saddle nor rein.

Her golden hair streamed behind her,
Her eyes were wild and bright,
As she urged her swift steed forward
And galloped away in the night.

Straight to the Hatfield's stronghold,
She rode, so fearless and brave,
To tell them that Johnse was in danger
And beg them his life to save.

And the Hatfields rode in a body,
They saved young Johnse's life.
But "Never," they said, "a Hatfield,
Should take a McCoy to wife."

But the feud is long forgotten,
And time has healed the sting,
As little Bud and Melissy,
This song of their kinsmen sing.

No longer it is forbidden,
That a fair-haired young McCoy,
Shall love her dark-eyed neighbor,
Or marry a Hatfield boy.

And the people still remember,
Though she never became his bride,
The love of these young people,
And Rosanna's midnight ride.
"Love of Rosanna McCoy" was written by folk festival producer, Jean Thomas in 1949.  Dave Varney, used to perform the song at her Kentucky folk festivals during the 50's and 60's. Jean Thomas, known as the Traipsin Woman, passed away in 1982. Dave Varney resides in Frankfort, KY.

Coat of Arms
The background texture is a bleached embossment of a supposed Hatfield coat of arms which my father gave me back in the 1960s. If you know who the person was who was associated with this coat of arms, I would very much like to have further information on it and them. A description of the shield is "Ermine, on a chevron engrailed sable three cinquefoils or." The motto is simply "Pax."


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