The Unfortunate Lad is a folk song about tragic outcomes of unfortunate choices.
It is also known as The Unfortunate Rake, which might give you a few ideas about the situation.
It’s a song that featured in the Coen Brothers’ Netflix movie The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs.
In the movie it is sung by one of five characters riding together on a stage coach, as three of the characters begin to realise that despite their differences about life’s journey they’re all heading toward a single destination.
As I wrote about another song from this movie, don’t base your theology of the afterlife on these lyrics, but it does make a salient point about the experience of life on this earth.
As I was a-walking down by the loch
As I was a-walking one morning of late
Who should I spy but my own dear comrade
Wrapped up in flannel, so hard is his fate
I boldly stepped up to, and kindly did ask him
Why are you wrapped in flannel so white?
My body is injured and sadly disordered
All by a young woman, my own heart’s delight
Oh had she but told me when she disordered me
Had she but told me of it at the time
I might have got salts or pills of white mercury
But now I’m cut down in the height of my prime
Get six pretty maidens to carry my coffin
And six pretty maidens to bear up my pall
And give to each of them, bunches of roses
That they may not smell me as they go along