Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Clerk Sanders

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Clerk Sanders

Clerk Sanders

Oh it was a sad and a rainy night
And the rain did rain from town to town
Clerk Saunders and his lady gay
Were a' walkin' through the fields so brown

"Oh a bed, a bed," Clerk Saunders cried," A bed, a bed for you and me"
"Oh never a bed," says the gay lady "Until it we'd to married be."

For it's I have seven brothers bold
And unto you they bear no good will
And if they catch you in my bower
Oh they'd value not your blood to spill

Oh, I'll take the sword out from my scabbard
And slowly, slowly lift up the pin
That you might swear and save your oath
That you never let Clerk Saunders in

Then take me up all in your arms
And carry me unto your bed
That you might swear and save your oath
Clerk Saunders never i' your bower did tread

So he's taken his sword out from his scabbard
And slowly, slowly lifted the pin
That she might swear and save her oath
That she never let Clerk Saunders in

Then she's taken him up in her two arms
And carried him unto her bed
That she might swear and save her oath
Clerk Saunders never i' her bower did tread

And then it's in an' came her brothers bold
And all their torches burning bright
Says they we have but the one sister
And see she's lying with a knight

And then it's up'n spoke the first o' them
I know they have been lovers dear
And up'n spoke the next o' them
Oh they've been in love for many's the year

And then it's up'n spoke the third o' them
T'would be a shame these two to twain
And up'n spoke the fourth o' them
Oh it's a sin to kill a sleeping man

And then it's up'n spoke the fifth o' them
I swear they'll never be harmed by me
And up'n spoke the sixth o' them
Oh we'll take our leave and we'll go our way

And then it's up'n spoke the seventh brother
Saying though there be no man but me
I bear the brand all in my hand
Shall surely make Clerk Saunders die!

And then he's taken in out his nut brown sword
And drawn it three times through the straw
And through and through Clerk Saunders' body
Oh he's got that rusty rapier go!

And they have lain all night in each other's arms
Until the day began to dawn
And kindly to him she did say
Oh it's time my love that you were away

Oh you are the sleepiest young man
That ever my two eyes did see
For you've lain all night all in my arms
And I'm sure it is a shame to be

And then she's drawn the blankets to the foot
And turned the sheets unto the wall
And then she's seen his bloody wounds
And his two gray eyes all pale and cold

And it's cursed be my bloody brothers!
Aye'n an ill death may he die!
For you dared not fight him in the field
But you slew him as he laid with me

And it's I will do for my love's sake
What many a lady will not do
Seven long years shall come and go
Before I wear stocking or I wear shoe

And there's never a shirt goes on my back
And never a comb goes in my hair
Never a fire nor a candle light
Shine in my bower anymore

Child #69
Transcribed from 'Ashes and Diamonds' -- June Tabor
MP
OCT98
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