Riddle Song, The (I Gave My Love a Cherry) - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

The Riddle Song, which is also sometimes known as 'I Gave My Love a Cherry', is an English folk song that America has made its own.  My favourite version is by Doc Watson (I love the Appalachian twist he gives it), but the song has also been recorded by Joan Baez, Burl Ives, Pete Seeger, Sam Cooke, Carly Simon and others.

Chords

Capo at 7th Fret

D                         G                              D
I gave my love a cherry that had no stone;

  A7                      D                               A7
I gave my love a chicken that had no bone;

   A7                    D                         A7
I gave my love a baby with no crying,

        Bm                   G                            D
And told my love a story that had no end.

 

Trad. arr. Peter Webster.

Lyrics

I gave my love a cherry that had no stone;
I gave my love a chicken that had no bone;
I gave my love a baby with no crying,
And told my love a story that had no end.

How can there be a cherry that has no stone?
How can there be a chicken that has no bone?
How can there be a baby with no crying?
How can you tell a story that has no end? 

A cherry when it's blooming, it has no stone;
A chicken when it's pipping, there is no bone;
A baby when it's sleeping, there's no crying,
And when I say I love you, it has no end.

Other English Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs