There was weepin’ by the women that the crowd could plainly see,
An’ old William’s throat was chokin’ an’ his eyes were watery,
An’ he couldn’t hardly answer when the parson made him say
Who it was on that occasion was to give the girl away.
I detest tears at a weddin’, an’ I didn’t like ’em then,
An’ I couldn’t see the reason for the lips that trembled when
Reverend Goodly looked about him ere he tied the knot to stay
An’ said: ‘Which of you assembled here now gives this girl away?’
I shall not forget old William an’ the solemn look he wore,
Though he tried his best at smilin’ I could tell his heart was sore;
I could see the tear drops startin’ as he looked at little May,
An’ I knew the wrench it caused him when he gave his girl away.
I could hear the women sobbin’, an’ I didn’t dare to look,
I jes’ kep’ my face straight forward till the parson closed his book.
For the heart of me was beatin’ not in sadness, but in glee;
I had reason to be happy. He was givin’ her to me.