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Johnie Scot

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Johnie Scot

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Johnie Scot

1.   Lord Johnie Scot to the Greenwood side
     A-hunting there awhile;
     The fairest lady in that hall
     Lord Johnie has got beguiled.

2,   "If this be true," the king he says,
     "That you have told to me,
     I'll have her put into prison fine
     Till I find the deed of his."

3.   He wrote a letter to Lord Johnie Scot
     And sealed it by his knee,
     And sent in to Lord Johnie Scot,
     Come to him immediately.

4.   The very first line that he looked on
     It caused him for to smile,
     The very next line that he looked on
     He hung his head and cried.

5.   Saying, "If this be true," Lord Johnie says,
     "Which he has told to me,
     Before tomorrow ten o'clock
     I will set my lady free."

6.   Lord Johnie on a horseback sat,
     A grosieme sight was he,
     The very first town that he rode through
     He caused the bells to ring,
     The very next town that he rode through
     The drums did beat all round.

7.   O when I came to the king's castle
     He rid it round about,
     And who should he see by the window side
     But his lady a-looking out.

8.   "Come down, come down," Lord Johnie cried,
     "Come down, come down," said he,
     "O how can I come down stairs?
     King Henry has 'prisoned me.

9.   "The garters that I used to wear
     Of the best of the beating gold,
     But now it's of the coldest steel
     Round my legs do fold.

10.  "The breastplate that I used to wear
     Of the best of the beating gold,
     But now it's of the coldest steel
     On to my breast lies cold."

11.  "Who's that?  Who's that?" the king he cried,
     "Who rides my castle round ?
     Is that the duke of Allmy
     Or is it Sir James our king,
     Or is it your Lord Johnie Scot,
     His lady for to win?"

12.  "It is not the duke of Allmy,
     Or yet Sir James our king,
     But it is Lord Johnie Scot,
     His lady for to win. "

13.  "If this be true," the king he says,
     "That you have told to me,
     Before tomorrow at ten o'clock
     You will die at the hands of me."

14.  O when the Italian he came out
     A grosieme sight was he,
     Betwixt his eyes two measured spans
     And a height of any man three.

15.  "A sight, a sight," Lord Johnie cries,
     "A horrisome sight art thou,
     But if as big as the devil himself
     I will have a bout with thee."

16.  His lady and his maidens all
     To the plains they did go,
     His maidens and his servants
     To the plain they did go,
     His lady and his maidens
     To see Lord Johnie slain.

17.  O they fought on like champions bold
     Of the swords of the tempered steel,
     Till you would swear their very heart's blood
     Came a-running to the field.

18.  But when the king he found out
     His conqueror could not be,
     It's over the top of Lord Johnie's head
     Like a sparrow he did fly.

19.  Lord Johnie being a well-thought man,
     And a well-thought squire was he,
     And on the point of his broadsword
     The king he had to die.

20.  "A squire, a squire," the king he cries,
     "To sign his deed and ayes,"
     "A priest, a priest," Lord Johnie cries,
     "To marry my lady and I."

Note: The following alternative verses were supplied by the
     singer's brother.
6.   Lord Johnie onto horseback sat,
     A grosieme sight was he,
     There was not a married man
     Into all his company.

9.   The garters that I used to wear
     Were of the silk and satin fine,
     But now they're of the coldest irons
     Around my legs do bind.
14.  Now up and speaks the youngest brother,
     The youngest of the three,
     "Before we will be hung like dogs
     We will fight until we die."

15.  "Now if this be true," the king he says,
     "In what you tell to me,
     I have an Italian in my house
     Out of fifty killed all but three,
     And before tomorrow ten o'clock
     You shall die in the hands of thee. (he?)"

16.  The night passed on, the day came on,
     They all went to the plain, etc.

(of the fight Mr. McKay sings):

        But at last the Italian then he found
        A conqueror he could not be (etc.)
Child #99
From Maritime Folk Songs, Creighton
Collected from Mrs. H.H. Power, Little Harbor and Canning, 1954
  and her brother Ned McKay
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III