The English And Scottish Popular Ballads

by FRANCIS JAMES CHILD.

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64A: Fair Janet


64A.1	'YE maun gang to your father, Janet,
	Ye maun gang to him soon;
	Ye maun gang to your father, Janet,
	In case that his days are dune.'
64A.2	Janet's awa to her father,
	As fast as she could hie:
	'O what's your will wi me, father?
	O what's your will wi me?'
64A.3	'My will wi you, Fair Janet,' he said,
	'It is both bed and board;
	Some say that he loe Sweet Willie,
	But ye maun wed a French lord.'
64A.4	'A French lord maun I wed, father?
	A French lord maun I wed?
	Then, by my sooth,' quo Fair Janet,
	'He's neer enter my bed.'
64A.5	Janet's awa to her chamber,
	As fast as she could go;
	Wha's the first ane that tapped there,
	But Sweet Willie her jo?
64A.6	'O we maun part this love, Willie,
	That has been lang between;
	There's a French lord coming oer the sea,
	To wed me wi a ring;
	There's a French lord coming oer the sea,
	To wed and tak me hame.'
64A.7	'If we maun part this love, Janet,
	It causeth mickle woe;
	If we maun part this love, Janet,
	It makes me into mourning go.'
64A.8	'But ye maun gang to your three sisters,
	Meg, Marion, and Jean;
	Tell them to come to Fair Janet,
	In case that her days are dune.'
64A.9	Willie's awa to his three sisters,
	Meg, Marion, and Jean:
	'O haste, and gang to Fair Janet,
	I fear that her days are dune.'
64A.10	Some drew to them their silken hose,
	Some drew to them their shoon,
	Some drew to them their silk manteils,
	Their covering to put on,
	And they're awa to Fair Janet,
	By the hie light o the moon.
	* * * * *
64A.11	'O I have born this babe, Willie,
	Wi mickle toil and pain;
	Take hame, take hame, your babe, Willie,
	For nurse I dare be nane.'
64A.12	He's tane his young son in his arms,
	And kisst him cheek and chin,
	And he's awa to his mother's bower,
	By the hie light o the moon.
64A.13	'O open, open, mother,' he says,
	'O open, and let me in;
	The rain rains on my yellow hair,
	And the dew drops oer my chin,
	And I hae my young son in my arms,
	I fear that his days are dune.'
64A.14	With her fingers lang and sma
	She lifted up the pin,
	And with her arms lang and sma
	Received the baby in.
64A.15	'Gae back, gae back now, Sweet Willie,
	And comfort your fair lady;
	For where ye had but ae nourice,
	Your young son shall hae three.'
64A.16	Willie he was scarce awa,
	And the lady put to bed,
	Whan in and came her father dear:
	'Make haste, and busk the bride.'
64A.17	'There's a sair pain in my head, father,
	There's a sair pain in my side;
	And ill, O ill, am I, father,
	This day for to be a bride.'
64A.18	'O ye maun busk this bonny bride,
	And put a gay mantle on;
	For she shall wed this auld French lord,
	Gin she should die the morn.'
64A.19	Some put on the gay green robes,
	And some put on the brown;
	But Janet put on the scarlet robes,
	To shine foremost throw the town.
64A.20	And some they mounted the black steed,
	And some mounted the brown;
	But Janet mounted the milk-white steed,
	To ride foremost throw the town.
64A.21	'O wha will guide your horse, Janet?
	O wha will guide him best?'
	'O wha but Willie, my true-love?
	He kens I loe him best.'
64A.22	And when they cam to Marie's kirk,
	To tye the haly ban,
	Fair Janet's cheek looked pale and wan,
	And her colour gaed an cam.
64A.23	When dinner it was past and done,
	And dancing to begin,
	'O we'll go take the bride's maidens,
	And we'll go fill the ring.'
64A.24	O ben than cam the auld French lord,
	Saying, Bride, will ye dance with me?
	'Awa, awa, ye auld French lord,
	Your face I downa see.'
64A.25	O ben than cam now Sweet Willie,
	He cam with ane advance:
	'O I'll go tak the bride's maidens,
	And we'll go tak a dance.'
64A.26	'I've seen ither days wi you, Willie,
	And so has mony mae,
	Ye would hae danced wi me mysel,
	Let a' my maidens gae.'
64A.27	O ben than cam now Sweet Willie,
	Saying, Bride, will ye dance wi me?
	'Aye, by my sooth, and that I will,
	Gin my back should break in three.'
64A.28	She had nae turned her throw the dance,
	Throw the dance but thrice,
	When she fell doun at Willie's feet,
	And up did never rise.
64A.29	Willie's taen the key of his coffer,
	And gien it to his man:
	'Gae hame, and tell my mother dear
	My horse he has me slain;
	Bid her be kind to my young son,
	For father he has nane.'
64A.30	The tane was buried in Marie's kirk,
	And the tither in Marie's quire;
	Out of the tane there grew a birk,
	And the tither a bonny brier.

64B: Fair Janet


64B.1	'IF you do love me weel, Willie,
	Ye'll shew to me truelie;
	Ye'll build to me a bonnie ship,
	And set her on the sea.'
64B.2	He did love her very weel,
	He shewed to her trulie;
	He builded her a bonnie ship,
	And set her on the sea.
64B.3	They had not sailed one league, one league,
	One league but only three,
	Till sharp, sharp showers fair Janet took,
	She grew sick and like to die.
64B.4	'If you do love me weel, Willie,
	Ye'll shew to me trulye;
	Ye'll tak me to my mother's bower,
	Whare I was wont to be.'
64B.5	He did love her very weel,
	He shewed to her trulye;
	He took her to her mother's bower,
	Whare she was wont to be.
64B.6	'It's ye'll stand up at my richt side,
	You will on tiptaes stand,
	Until you hear your auld son weep,
	But an you Janet mourn.
64B.7	'Come take your auld son in your arms,
	He is both large and lang;
	Come take your auld son in your arms,
	And for a nourice gang.'
64B.8	He is to his mother's bowers,
	An hour or it struck nine:
	'I have a babe into my arms,
	He'll die nor nouricing.'
64B.9	'Goe home, go home, my son,' she says,
	'And mak thy Jenny blythe;
	If ae nurse winna sere her son,
	It's I'll provide him five.'
64B.10	Fair Janet was nae weel lichter,
	Nor weel doun on her side,
	Till ben and cam her father dear,
	Saying, Wha will busk our bride?
64B.11	Ben and cam her brethren dear,
	Saying, Wha will busk our bride?
	And wha will saddle our bride's horse?
	Whom ahint will she ride?
64B.12	'Hold your tongue, my brethren dear,
	And let your folly be,
	For I'm sae fair and full of hair
	Sma busking will serve me.
64B.13	'Hold your tongue, my brethren dear,
	And let your folly be,
	For I will ride behint William,
	He will best wait on me.
64B.14	'Willie, lay the saddle saft,
	And lead the bridle soun,
	And when we come to Mary's Kirk,
	Ye'll set me hooly down.'
64B.15	Supper scarslie was owre,
	Nor musick weel fa'n to,
	Till ben and cam the bride's brethren,
	Saying, Bride, ye'll dance wi me:
	'Awa, awa, my brethren dear,
	For dancing's no for me.'
64B.16	Ben and came her ain bridegroom,
	Saying, Bride, ye'll dance wi me;
	She says, Awa, awa, ye southland dog,
	Your face I downa see.
64B.17	Ben and cam then Sweet Willie,
	Saying, Bride, ye'll dance wi me:
	'Oh I will dance the floor once owre,
	Tho my heart should break in three.'
64B.18	'Oh no, oh no,' said Sweet William,
	'Let no such things eer be;
	But I will cut my glove in two,
	And I'll dance for thee and me.'
64B.19	She hadna danced the floor once owre,
	I'm sure she hadna thrice,
	Till she fell in a deadly swound,
	And from it neer did rise.
64B.20	Out and spak her ain bridegroom,
	And an angry man was he:
	'This day she has gien me the gecks,
	Yet she must bear the scorn;
	There's not a bell in merry Linkum
	Shall ring for her the morn.'
64B.21	Out and spoke then Sweet William,
	And a sorry man was he:
	'Altho she has gien you the gecks,
	She will not bear the scorn;
	There's not a bell in merry Linkum
	But shall ring for her the morn.'
64B.22	There was not a bell in merry Linkum
	But they tinkled and they rang,
	And a' the birds that flew above,
	They changed their notes and sang.

64C: Fair Janet


64C.1	LIVD ance twa luvers in yon dale,
	And they luvd ither weel;
	Frae evning late to morning aire
	Of luving luvd their fill.
64C.2	'Now, Willie, gif you luve me weel,
	As sae it seems to me,
	Gar build, gar build a bonny schip,
	Gar build it speedilie.
64C.3	'AnRR rrwe wLl saL the sea sae g-een,
	Unto some far countrie,
	Or we'll sail to some bonie isle,
	Stands lanely midst the sea.'
64C.4	But lang or ere the schip was built,
	Or deckd, or rigged out,
	Came sick a pain in Annet's back
	That down she coud na lout.
64C.5	'Now, Willie, gif ye luve me weel,
	As sae it seems to me,
	O haste, haste, bring me to my bowr,
	And my bowr-maidens three.'
64C.6	He's taen her in his arms twa,
	And kissd her, cheik and chin;
	He's brocht her to her ain sweet bowr,
	But nae bowr-maid was in.
64C.7	'Now leave my bower, Willie,' she said,
	'Now leave me to my lane;
	When she was travelling.'
64C.8	He's stepped three steps down the stair,
	Upon the marble stane;
	Sae loud's he heard his young son's greet,
	But and his lady's mane!
64C.9	'Now come, now come, Willie,' she said,
	'Tak your young son frae me,
	And hie him to your mother's bower,
	With speed and privacie.'
64C.10	He's taen his young son in his arms,
	He's kissd him, cheik and chin;
	He's hied him to his mother's bower,
	By th' ae light of the moon.
64C.11	And with him came the bold barone,
	And he spake up wi pride:
	'Gar seek, gar seek the bower-maidens,
	Gar busk, gar busk the bryde.'
64C.12	'My maidens, easy with my back,
	And easy with my side;
	O set my saddle saft, Willie,
	I am a tender bryde.'
64C.13	When she came to the burrow-town,
	They gied her a broch and ring,
	And when she came to . . .,
	They had a fair wedding.
64C.14	O up then spake the norland lord,
	And blinkit wi his ee:
	'I trow this lady's born a bairn,'
	Then laucht loud lauchters three.
64C.15	And up then spake the brisk bridegroom,
	And he spake up wi pryde:
	'Gin I should pawn my wedding-gloves,
	I will dance wi the bryde.'
64C.16	'Now had your tongue, my lord,' she said,
	'Wi dancing let me be;
	I am sae thin in flesh and blude,
	Sma dancing will serve me.'
64C.17	But she's taen Willie be the hand,
	The tear blinded her ee:
	'But I wad dance wi my true-luve,
	But bursts my heart in three.'
64C.18	She's taen her bracelet frae her arm,
	Her garter frae her knee:
	'Gie that, gie that to my young son,
	He'll neer his mother see.'
	* * * * *
64C.19	'Gar deal, gar deal the bread, mother,
	Gar deal, gar deal the wyne;
	This day hath seen my true-love's death,
	This nicht shall witness myne.'

64D: Fair Janet


64D.1	'IT never was my mother's fashion,
	As little will't be mine,
	For to hae gay lords within my room
	When ladies are travailing.'
64D.2	Lord William was scarsely down the stair,
	A step but only ane,
	Till he heard his auld son gie a cry,
	And his lady a heavy maen.
64D.3	'Turn back, turn back, Lord William,' she says,
	'Take thy auld son in thy coat-neuk,
	And see and reach thy mother's bowers
	Twa hours before day comes.'
64D.4	He's awa wi his auld son in his coat-neuk,
	As fast as he can run,
	And there he's reached his mother's bowers,
	Twa hours before day came.
64D.5	'O rise, O rise, my mother dear,
	O rise and let me in,
	For I've my auld son in my coat-neuk,
	And he shivers at the chin.'
64D.6	'Ye're welcome hame to me, Lord William,
	And so is thy auld son;
	It's where ye had but ae nourice,
	Thy auld son he'll hae four.'
64D.7	His lady was scarsely in her bed,
	Nor well faln owre asleep,
	When four and twenty knights and lords
	Came for the bride at last.
64D.8	They dressed her up, they dressed her down,
	They dressed her wondrous fine,
	And just before her ain bedside
	She lost her colour clean.
64D.9	'Be hooly wi my head, maidens,
	Be hooly wi my hair,
	For it was washen late last night,
	And now it's very sair.'
64D.10	Out then spoke a southern lord,
	And oh but he spak bauld:
	'She is the likest that bore a child
	That eer my eyes did see.'
64D.11	Up then spak her auld, auld father,
	And oh he spoke in time:
	'She neer bore a child since her birth
	Except it was yestreen.'
64D.12	Out then spoke a northern lord:
	'It's bride, will ye dance wi me?'
	'Oh no, oh no, you northland lord,
	It's dancing's no for me.'
64D.13	Out then spoke a southland lord:
	'It's bride, will ye dance wi me?'
	'Oh no, oh no, you southland lord,
	I would as lief chuse to die.'
64D.14	Out then spoke her ain bridegroom:
	'O bride, will ye dance wi me?'
	'Oh no, oh no, my ain bridegroom,
	It's dancing's no for me.'
64D.15	yes, I'll dance, dear Willie,' she said,
	Out then spoke her ain Willy,
	And oh he spoke fu fine:
	'O bride, O bride, will ye dance wi me,'
	. . . . .
64D.16	'Oh yes, oh yes, Willie,' she said,
	'It's I will dance with thee;
	Oh yes, I'll dance, dear Willie,' she said,
	'Tho my back it gaes in three.'
64D.17	She leaned her head on Willie's breast,
	And her back unto the wa:
	'O there's the key of my coffer,
	And pay weel the nouriss fee,
	And aye when ye look on your auld son,
	Ye may aye think on me.'

64E: Fair Janet


64E.1	WILLIE and Fair Janet
	Sat a' day on yon hill;
	And Janet she took sair pains,
	And O but she grew ill.
64E.2	'Fetch a woman to me, Willie,
	O fetch a woman to me,
	For without the help of woman, Willie,
	Surely I will dee.'
64E.3	'O tie a napkin on my face,
	That naething I may see,
	And what can a woman do, Janet,
	But I will do for thee?'
	* * * * *
64E.4	She was na scarcely brought to bed,
	Nor yet laid on her side,
	Till in and cam her father there,
	Crying, Fy, gae busk the bride.
64E.5	'A wearyed bride am I, father,
	A wearyed bride am I;
	Must I gae wed that southlan lord,
	And let Sweet Willie abe?'
	* * * * *
64E.6	'Now chuse, now chuse now, Fair Janet,
	What shall your cleeding be;
	Now chuse, now chuse now, Fair Janet,
	And I will gie it to thee.
64E.7	'Whether will you hae it of the berry brown,
	Or of the holland green;
	Or will you hae it of the crimson red,
	Most lovely to be seen?'
64E.8	'I will not hae't of the berry brown,
	Nor yet o the holly green;
	But I will hae't of the crimson red,
	Most lovely to be seen.'
64E.9	'Now chuse, now chuse now, Fair Janet,
	What man you'll ride behind:'
	'O wha sae fitting as Sweet Willie?
	He'll fit my saddle fine.'
64E.10	O they rode on, and they rode on,
	Till they cam to Merrytown green;
	But Sweet Willie and Fair Janet
	Cam aye hoolie ahin.
64E.11	O whan they cam to Merrytown,
	And lighted on the green,
	Monie a bluidy aith was sworn
	That our bride was wi bairn.
64E.12	Out and spake the bonny bride,
	And she swore by her fingers ten:
	'If eer I was wi bairn in my life,
	I was lighter sin yestreen.'
64E.13	Up and raise he the bridegroom,
	Says, Bride, will ye dance wi me?
	'Dance on, dance on, bridegroom,' she says,
	'For I'll dance nane wi thee.'
64E.14	Up and raise her father then,
	Says, Bride, will ye dance wi me?
	'Dance on, my father,' she replied,
	'I pray thee let me be.'
64E.15	Then up and raise he Sweet Willie,
	And he had meikle pride:
	'I'll lay my gloves in the bride's han,
	And I'll dance for the bride.'
64E.16	'O no, O no, O Sweet Willie,
	O no, that shall na be;
	For I will dance wi thee, Willie,
	Tho my back should fa in three.'
64E.17	She had na run a reel, a reel,
	A reel but barely three,
	Till pale and wan grew Fair Janet,
	And her head took Willie's knee.
64E.18	Out and spake then the bridegroom,
	And he spake wi great scorn:
	'There's not a bell in Merrytown kirk
	Shall ring for her the morn.'
64E.19	Out and spak he Sweet Willie,
	And his heart was almost gane:
	''Tis a the bells in Merrytown kirk
	Shall ring for her the morn.'
64E.20	Willie was buried in Mary's kirk,
	etc., etc., etc.

64F: Fair Janet


64F.1	HEY, love Willie, and how, love Willie,
	And Willie my love shall be;
	They're thinking to sinder our lang love, Willie;
	It's mair than man can dee.
64F.2	'Ye'll mount me quickly on a steed,
	A milk-white steed or gray,
	And carry me on to gude greenwood,
	Before that it be day.'
64F.3	He mounted her upon a steed,
	He chose a steed o gray;
	He had her on to gude greenwood,
	Before that it was day.
64F.4	'O will ye gang to the cards, Meggie?
	Or will ye gang wi me?
	Or will ye hae a bower-woman,
	To stay ere it be day?'
64F.5	'I winna gang to the cards,' she said,
	'Nor will I gae wi thee,
	Nor will I hae a bower-woman,
	To spoil my modestie.
64F.6	'Ye'll gie me a lady at my back,
	An a lady me beforn,
	An a midwife at my twa sides,
	Till your young son be born.
64F.7	'Ye'll do me up, and further up,
	To the top o yon greenwood tree;
	For every pain myself shall hae,
	The same pain ye maun drie.'
64F.8	The first pain that did strike Sweet Willie,
	It was into the side;
	Then sighing sair said Sweet Willie,
	These pains are ill to bide!
64F.9	The nextan pain that strake Sweet Willie,
	It was into the back;
	Then sighing sair said Sweet Willie,
	These pains are women's wreck!
64F.10	The nextan pain that strake Sweet Willie,
	It was into the head;
	Then sighing sair said Sweet Willie,
	I fear my lady's dead!
64F.11	Then he's gane on, and further on,
	At the foot o yon greenwood tree;
	There he got his lady lighter,
	Wi his young son on her knee.
64F.12	Then he's taen up his little young son,
	And kissd him, cheek and chin,
	And he is on to his mother,
	As fast as he could gang.
64F.13	'Ye will take in my son, mother,
	Gie him to nurses nine;
	Three to wauk, and three to sleep,
	And three to fanf between.'
64F.14	Then he has left his mother's house,
	And frae her he has gane,
	And he is back to his lady,
	And safely brought her hame.
64F.15	Then in it came her father dear,
	Was belted in a brand:
	'It's nae time for brides to lye in bed,
	When the bridegroom's send's in town.
64F.16	'There are four-and-twenty noble lords
	A' lighted on the green;
	The fairest knight amang them a',
	He must be your bridegroom.'
64F.17	'O wha will shoe my foot, my foot?
	And wha will glove my hand?
	And wha will prin my sma middle,
	Wi the short prin and the lang?'
64F.18	Now out it speaks him Sweet Willie,
	Who knew her troubles best:
	'It is my duty for to serve,
	As I'm come here as guest.
64F.19	'Now I will shoe your foot, Maisry,
	And I will glove your hand,
	And I will prin your sma middle,
	Wi the sma prin and the lang.'
64F.20	'Wha will saddle my steed,' she says,
	'And gar my bridle ring?
	And wha will hae me to gude church-door,
	This day I'm ill abound?'
64F.21	'I will saddle your steed, Maisry,
	And gar your bridle ring,
	And I'll hae you to gude church-door,
	And safely set you down.'
64F.22	'O healy, healy take me up,
	And healy set me down,
	And set my back until a wa,
	My foot to yird-fast stane.'
64F.23	He healy took her frae her horse,
	And healy set her down,
	And set her back until a wa,
	Her foot to yird-fast stane.
64F.24	When they had eaten and well drunken,
	And a' had thornd fine,
	The bride's father he took the cup,
	For to serve out the wine.
64F.25	Out it speaks the bridegroom's brother,
	An ill death mat he die!
	'I fear our bride she's born a bairn,
	Or else has it a dee.'
64F.26	She's taen out a Bible braid,
	And deeply has she sworn;
	'If I hae born a bairn,' she says,
	'Sin yesterday at morn,
64F.27	'Or if I've born a bairn,' she says,
	'Sin yesterday at noon,
	There's nae a lady amang you a'
	That woud been here sae soon.'
64F.28	Then out it spake the bridegroom's man,
	Mischance come ower his heel!
	'Win up, win up, now bride,' he says,
	'And dance a shamefu reel.'
64F.29	Then out it speaks the bride hersell,
	And a sorry heart had she:
	'Is there nae ane amang you a'
	Will dance this dance for me?'
64F.30	Then out it speaks him Sweet Willie,
	And he spake aye thro pride:
	'O draw my boots for me, bridegroom,
	Or I dance for your bride.'
64F.31	Then out it spake the bride hersell:
	O na, this maunna be;
	For I will dance this dance mysell,
	Tho my back shoud gang in three.
64F.32	She hadna well gane thro the reel,
	Nor yet well on the green,
	Till she fell down at Willie's feet
	As cauld as ony stane.
64F.33	He's taen her in his arms twa,
	And haed her up the stair;
	Then up it came her jolly bridegroom,
	Says, What's your business there?
64F.34	Then Willie lifted up his foot,
	And dang him down the stair,
	And brake three ribs o the bridegroom's side,
	And a word he spake nae mair.
64F.35	Nae meen was made for that lady,
	When she was lying dead;
	But a' was for him Sweet Willie,
	On the fields for he ran mad.

64G: Fair Janet


64G.1	'WILL you marry the southland lord,
	A queen of fair England to be?
	Or will you burn for Sweet Willie,
	The morn upon yon lea?'
64G.2	'I will marry the southland lord,
	Father, sen it is your will;
	But I'd rather it were my burial-day,
	For my grave I'm going till.
64G.3	'O go, O go now, my bower-wife,
	O go now hastilie,
	O go now to Sweet Willie's bower,
	And bid him cum speak to me.'
	* * * * *
64G.4	And he is to his mother's bower,
	As fast as he could rin:
	'Open, open, my mother dear,
	Open, and let me in.
64G.5	'For the rain rains on my yellow hair,
	The dew stands on my chin,
	And I have something in my lap,
	And I wad fain be in.'
64G.6	'O go, O go now, Sweet Willie,
	And make your lady blithe,
	For wherever you had ae nourice,
	Your young son shall hae five.'
64G.7	Out spak Annet's mother dear,
	An she spak a word o' pride;
	Says, Whare is a' our bride's maidens,
	They're no busking the bride?
64G.8	'O haud your tongue, my mother dear,
	Your speaking let it be,
	For I'm sae fair and full o flesh
	Little busking will serve me.'
64G.9	Out an spak the bride's maidens,
	They spak a word o pride;
	Says, Whare is a' the fine cleiding?
	It's we maun busk the bride.
64G.10	'Deal hooly wi my head, maidens,
	Deal hooly wi my hair;
	For it was washen late yestreen,
	And it is wonder sair.'
	* * * * *
64G.11	And Willie swore a great, great oath,
	And he swore by the thorn,
	That she was as free o a child that night
	As the night that she was born.
64G.12	'Ye hae gien me the gowk, Annet,
	But I'll gie you the scorn;
	For there's no a bell in a' the town
	Shall ring for you the morn.'
64G.13	Out and spak then Sweet Willie:
	Sae loud's I hear you lie!
	There's no a bell in a' the town
	But shall ring for Annet and me.
	* * * * *

Next: 65. Lady Maisry






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III