Patrick Rabe

Corona Town, where I was born (my version of "Barbara Allen")

I would have posted that under "Love", for it is a lovesong, but it has nothing to do with romance. And here is only a category "Love and Romance." So I did put it to "TravelStories/my home Country". And from some kind of view that fits perfectly.

Corona Town, where I was born


Corona Town, where I was born,

there was a fair maid dwellin‘,

it was the merry month of may,

 and all the buds were swellin‘.


There was a war, that shook the land,

it was within, not showing,

and it deserted many a rose,

but deep inside was knowing.


Sweet William came from the west country,

to see his love, unfold her,

he kept her name, so deep inside,

and all the things, he told her.


But there were soldiers on the way,

who did arrest sweet William,

they tried to get his fair maids name,

 he did tell them a zillion.


They hit him badly on the head,

and knocked him down, to lie there,

they laughed, when he crawled to the bed,

and forced him „Tie a tie there.“


Sweet William travelled many lands,

when finally they let him.

There still was Grunge beneath his nails,

from reaching down to get in.


For she was tortured a floor below,

and he could hear her crying,

his drugs told him, it was’nt so,

but she called loud: „I’m dying!“


He saw a petal down on the floor

of a sweet red rose blossom,

so noble, precious and divine,

you love them, when you’ve lost one.


And he reached down, to get her up,

and put her to his briar,

but they again did beat him up,

and they turned up the fire.


And he went naked, as he left,

he knew, that he had saved her.

He ran in and he intervened,

right just before they shaved her.


And they returned to Scarlet Town,

where a disease was dwellin‘,

it was the merry month of may,

 and all the buds were swellin‘.


And they went left, and they went right,

and tried to find each other,

their fire was dammed and denied,

they were fobbed by a brother.


They called it hate, they called it hell,

they called it firery oven,

but did’nt see the tears of both,

and did’nt see their lovin‘.


And Barbara and William were

a red rose and a briar,

they grew and grew in the morning dew,

and they survived the fire.



© by Patrick Rabe, December, 5th 2020, Hamburg.


This song goes along with the melody of „Barbara Allen“, as Pete Seeger sung it. It tells the story of an eternal love, like the original, and like the song „The briar and the rose“ by Tom Waits. Bob Dylan, too, did a song called „Scarlet Town“, that followed the narratives of „Barbara Allen“.  Scarlet in german means aswell „Samtrot“ or „roter Samt“ (Scharlachrot) as „Scharlach“ (scarlet fever), too. In the original song, sweet William is dying, when he comes to his love Barbara. It is not exactly said, why. One reason could be, that he was returning from the war. Another reason could be, that the town, where she lived in, was suffering of a disease. Maybe the word „scarlet“ in this case has the double meaning of love and a disease, wich came out of the denial of this love.  It is     the original love, turned to a disease. But if it would’nt be lived, the disease would grow much worse. So I decided to call my version of „Barbara Allen“ „Corona Town“. „Corona“ is latin for „crown“. It is my version of living love and acting in the deep cellars of almost losing it, by have been beaten almost to death in a hospital for mental diseases, when saving someones life. We both survived that. I hope, she is well and doing fine. But I do take all of this – although it happened in reality- as some kind of metaphor for my own search to find the only bride. The girl in the hospital was’nt the only bride.  But I guess, I’m getting closer. It has got a religious aspect. But I don’t take it only religious, or even at last religious, so to say. If it does’nt happen on the earthly plan/plain, it would’nt mean anything to me.  And I mean Love, Sex and living together, not torture and crucification. „Grunge“ in my song means the music and the filth beneath the fingernails, wich show, that the story of saving Barbara and  making myself  dirty for that is true. „Fair“ in this meaning here doesn’t mean „blonde“ or „carny“, but „ beautiful“. The song also variates a few other things, that happened in my real past life. It goes out, too, for the german Afghanistan Veterans and victims of wars and civil wars, I know personally.



© by Patrick Rabe, December 2020

All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Patrick Rabe.
Published on on 12/06/2020.


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Book by Patrick Rabe:


Gottes Zelt: Glaubens- und Liebesgedichte von Patrick Rabe

Die Glaubens-und Liebesgedichte von Patrick Rabe sind mutig, innig, streitbar, vertrauens- und humorvoll, sie klammern auch Zweifel, Anfechtungen und Prüfungen nicht aus, stellen manchmal gewohnte Glaubensmuster auf den Kopf und eröffnen dem Leser den weiten Raum Gottes. Tief und kathartisch sind seine Gedichte von Tod und seelischer Wiederauferstehung, es finden sich Poeme der Suche, des Trostes, der Klage und der Freude. Abgerundet wird das Buch von einigen ungewöhnlichen theologischen Betrachtungen. Kein Happy-Clappy-Lobpreis, sondern ein Buch mit Ecken und Kanten, das einen Blick aufs Christentum eröffnet, der fern konservativer Traditionen liegt.

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