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Fair Annie

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Fair Annie

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Fair Annie

It's narrow, narrow make your bed
and learn to lie alone
For I'm going over the seas, Fair Annie,
a rich bride to bring home

With her, I'll get both gold and gear
With you I ne'er got nane
I took you as a waif woman
I'll leave you as the same

But who will bake my bridal bread
And who'll brew my bridal ale
And who will welcome my brisk bride
That I bring over the dale

It's I will bake your bridal bread
And I'll brew your bridal ale
And I will welcome your brisk bride
That you bring over the dale

But she who welcomes by brisk bride
Must go like maiden fair
And she must lace her middle so small
And braid her yellow hair

But how can I go maiden like
Since maiden I am nane
I have borne seven sons by thee
And am with child again

She took her youngest in her arms
The eldest by the hand
And she is off to the highest tower
To watch them come to land

Come up, come up, my eldest son
And look on yonder sea strand
And see your father's new come bride
Before she comes to land

Come down, come down, my mother dear
Come down from the castle wall
I fear if long you stay up there
You'll let your self down fall

So she's come down and farther down
Her love's fine ship to see
And the top mast and the main mast
They shone like silver free

And she's cone down and farther down
The bride ship to behold
And the top mast and the main mast
They shone like the burning gold

She took her seven sons by the hand
And O, she did not fail
She met Lord Thomas and his new come bride
As they came o'er the dale

You're welcome to your home lady
You're welcome to your hearth
You're welcome to your bower, lady
For all that's here is yours

I thank thee, Annie, I thank thee, Annie
So dearly, I thank thee
You're the likest to my sister, Annie
That ever I did see

There came a knight from over the sea
And stole my sister away
O shame on him and his company
In the land where e'er they stay

And aye she set the wide tables
With white bread and with wine
And aye she drank the warm waters
To hold her collar fine

And aye she set the long tables
With white bread and with brown
And aye she turned her round about
So fast the tears ran down

When bells were rung and mass was sung
And all were sent to bed
Lord Thomas and his new come bride
To bed chambers they were led

And she took her harp all in her hand
To harp these two to sleep
And aye she harped and aye she sang
Full sorely did she weep

If my seven sons were seven young rats
Running on yon castle wall
and if I were a cat myself
I soon should worry them all

If my seven sons were seven young hares
Running on yon lily lea
And I were a greyhound myself
Soon worried they should be

What ails thee, Annie, What ails thee, Annie
That you make such a moan
Has your wine barrel cast its girds
Or is your white bread gone

And who was your father Annie
And who was your mother?
And had you any sister, Annie
and had you any brother?

King Easter is my Father dear
Queen Easter is my mother
John Armstrong in the Western land
He is my eldest brother

If King Ester is your father dear
Then also is he mine
And it shall not be for want of gold
That you your love should twine

For I have seven ships of my own
All loaded to the brim
And I shall give them all to thee
And four to thy eldest son
And praise be to the powers in heaven
That I go a maiden home

Child #62
recorded by MacColl and Seeger on Blood Red Roses
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