Three Brothers Come From Spain
Here's three brethren come from Spain,
For to court your daughter Jane.
My daughter Jane is too young,
She cannot bear a flattering tongue.
Come be she young, come be she old,
A bride, a bride she must be sold.
A bride, a bride she'll never be
Till she comes through this world with me.
Come taste of my lily and smell of my rose,
And which of them all do you choose?
We choose but one among them all,
And so must Kate Brown give up the ball.
The ball is ours, it's none of yours,
Go to the garden and pluck your flowers.
We have pins to pin our clothes,
You have nails to nail your nose.
Maclagan GDA (1901), 90. Three girls, representing the brothers, stand in fron
t of the row, one of which is the mother, the others her daughters. One of the d
aughters has a ball (her name to be guessed). The three advance singing the fir
st couplet, and a dialogue ensues with the mother. After the refusal they begin
to retire, but the mother calls them back with "Come taste", etc. If the bothe
rs name the correct girl, the ball is given up, and the brothers go into the row
, while the mother and two others go out, and the game goes on. If they fail to
name the girl, "the last four lines of the rhyme are recited, which leads to a
struggle in search of the ball."
Opies Singing Game (1985), 105-6, with refs.