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Dowie Dens o Yarrow

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The Dowie Dens o' Yarrow

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The Dowie Dens o' Yarrow

There lived a lady in the West,
     Some said she had no marrow
She was courtcd by nine gentlemen
     And a plowman lad in Yarrow.

Late at e'en and drinking wine
     As oft they'd done before-o
They made up a plot themsells amang
     To fight for her in Yarrow.

"Oh bide at hame my true love John
     Oh bide at hame my marrow.
For my cruel brother will thee betray
     In the dowie dens o' Yarrow."

As he gaed up yon lang lang bog
     He gaed wi dool and sorrow
He spied ten men all watering their steeds
     In the dowie dens o' Yarrow.

Oh, are ye come to sell your land
     Come here to beg or borrow
Or are ye come to wield your brand
     In the dowie dens o' Yarrow.

I'm neither come to sell my land
     Come here to beg or borrow
But I am come to wield my brand
     In the dowie dens o' Yarrow.

Oh three he slew and three he drew
     And three he did lay low
When her brother John came by a bush
And ran his body thro'.

O lady hie thee to yon glen
     Hi thee wi dool and sorrow
For your true love Tohn lies dead and gone
     In the dowie dens o' Yarrow.

Oh sister sister make my bed
     Oh make it long and narrow
For my true love died for me yestreen
     I'll die for him the morrow.

Child #214
From Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads, Bronson
Collected from John Potts, Peebleshire, 1907
Note: tune is, essentially, How Can I Keep From Singing. RG
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III