Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Wren She Lies in Cares Bed

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The Wren She Lies in Care's Bed

The Wren She Lies in Care's Bed

     1.
     The Wren scho lyes in care's bed,
     In care's bed, in care's bed;
     The Wren scho lyes in care's bed,
     In meikle dule and pyne---O.
     Quhen in came Robin Red-breast,
     Red-breast, Red-breast;
     Quhen in came Robin Red-breast,
     Wi' succar-saps and wine---O.
     Now, maiden, will ye taste o' this,
     Taste o' this, taste o' this;
     Now, maiden, will ye taste o' this?
     It's succar-saps and wine---O.
     Na, ne'er a drap, Robin,
     Robin, Robin;
     Na, ne'er a drap, Robin,
     Gin it was ne'er so fine---O.

*  *  *  *  *  *
     And quhere's the ring that I gied ze,
     That I gied ze, that I gied ze;
     And quhere's the ring that I gied ze,
     Ze little cutty quean---O?
     I gied it till an soger,
     A soger, a soger,
     I gied it till a soger,
     A kynd sweet-heart o' myne---O.
     2.
     Jeny Vran wiz lyin sick, lyin sick, lyin sick,
     Jany Vran wiz lyin sick upon a mortal time;
     In cam Robin Redbreest, Redbreest, Redbreest,
     In cam Robin Redbreest wi' sugar saps an wine;
     Says, `Birdie will ye pree this, pree this, pree this?'
     Says, `Birdie will ye pree this, an' ye'll be birdie
       mine?'
     `I winna pree't tho' I should die, tho' I should die,
       tho' I should die,
     I winna pree't tho' I should die, for it cam not in
       time.'
     ________________________________________________________
     (1) Herd (1776), II.209); titled "The Wren; or Lennox
     Love to Blantyre", this being the tune-name.  With
     music, in SMM V (1796), 497 (no. 483).  Chambers SSPB
     (1862), 242; PRS (1847, 159; 1870, 187) [followed by
     Ford CR 140, MacLennan SNR (1909), 29, Montgomerie SNR
     (1946), 142 (no. 176)], has for the last 4 lines: "I gied
     it till an ox-ee,/ An ox-ee, an ox-ee;/ I gied it till
     an ox-ee,/ A true sweitheart o' mine, O"--the recipient
     being the great tit, Parus major.
     Cf. the incipit of "Gentle Robin".
     (2) Gregor (1881), 138, from the north-east.
     See ODNR 242 (no. 271), "Jenny Wren fell sick".  Halliwell
     1842 (p. 48, no. lxxx) gives: Little Jenny Wren fell sick
     upon a time,/ When in came Robin Red-breast, and brought
     her bread and wine;/ "Eat, Jenny, drink, Jenny, all
     shall be thine!"/ Then Jenny she got better, and stood
     upon her feet,/ And says to little Robin, "I love thee
     not a bit!"/ Then Robin he was angry and flew upon a
     twig,/ "Hoot upon thee, fie upon thee, ungrateful chit!"
     (apparently a variant, whether a memorial version or
     not, of lines in T. Evans's Life and Death of Jenny
     Wren, c. 1800).  ODNR says Herd's version is augmented
     in Peter Buchan's B.M. MS. (Add. 29408), perhaps by P.B.
     himself.
Lennox Love to Blantyre appears in John Walsh, Caledonian
Country Dances ii (c. 1736), as How can I keep my Maiden-head
(the name of an old indelicate song, as Stenho
preserved in MMC [1799, 65] and Sharpe [Ballad Book, 1823
(1880), 54], although there the tune direction is The Birks
of Abergeldie).  Later in Bremner's Reels (1757), 17; but
before in Margaret Sinkler's Musick-Book, 1710 (as Lennox
love to Blanter) [Glen ESM 138].  See also note to "The King
o' France he ran a race".

MS
oct99
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