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Lord Banner

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Lord Banner

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Lord Banner

Four and twenty ladies,
They being at a ball,
Lord Banner's wife, she being there
Was fairest of them all.

And Young LaGrove from Scotland
As fair as the rising sun.
He looked at her, she looked at him,
And then their love begun.

"Oh, won't you take a ride," said she,
"Oh, won't you take a ride!
And you shall have servants to wait on you
And a fair lady by your side."

"No, no, I'll not take a ride," said he,
"Not on my very life
For the ring that you wear on your finger now
Makes you Lord Banner's wife."

"Well, what if I am Lord Banner's wife!
Lord Banner is not at home,
He has gone to the London Convention for
To seat King George on his throne."

Lord Banner's valet hearing this
And seeing all that was done,
He swore that his master should hear of this
Before the next rising sun.

Lord Banner's valet knowing this,
He took to his heels and ran;
He ran till he came to the water's edge
Then he breasted the stream and swam.

And when he came to the castle walls,
How fiercely the bells did ring;
There was no one so eager as Lord Banner
To arise and let him in.

Saying, "Are any of my castles over
Or any of my towers down
Or has my fair lady been taken ill
Since I have left the town? "

"There are none of your castles over
I swear it by my life
But Young LaGrove from Scotland
Is making love to your wife."

"If this be a lie that you tell to me
As I suppose it to be,
I will erect a gallows high
And hanged you shall be."

"If this be a lie that I tell to you,
As you suppose it to be,
You need not erect a gallows high
But may hang me to a tree."

Lord Banner then called up his martial men
He called them one, two and three,
Saying, "Come we'll ride over to Scotland
This happy couple to see."

"Oh, what is that! Oh, what is that!
It fills my soul with fear,
I fear' tis Lord Banner's bugle call.
I fear he is drawing near."

"Lie down, lie down and keep me warm
And keep me from the cold.
'Tis only Lord Banner's shepherd boy
Calling his sheep to fold."

They huddled and they cuddled
And they soon fell fast asleep
And when they awoke in the morning
Lord Banner stood at their feet,

Saying, "How do you like my blankets fine
And how do you like my sheets
And how do you like my fair young bride
Who lies in your arms asleep! "

"Very well do I like your blankets fine
And well do I like your sheets
But better by far your lady fair
Who lies in my arms asleep."

Get up, get up and put on your clothes
As fast as ever you can
For it ne'er shall be said in old Scotland
That I fought with a naked man."

"No, I will not get up and put on my clothes
As fast as ever I can
For you have two broadswords by your side
While I have my naked hands."   '

"What if I have got two broadswords.
They are each with pearl inlaid
And you may have your choice of these
For each is a trusty blade."

"And you may strike the very first blow
But strike it like a man
And I will strike the second blow
And I'll kill you if I can."

LaGrove he struck the very first blow
And he wounded Lord Banner full sore.
Lord Banner struck the second blow
And he laid him in his gore.

He took his fair lady by the hand
And he gave her kisses three
Saying, "Why do you love this young LaGrove
So much better than you do me! "

"Very well do I like your ruby lips
 Very well do I like your chin
 But better I love this young LaGrove
 Than you or any of your kin."

He took her by her long yellow hair
And he cleft her head in twain.
Lady Banner fell upon her knees
Never to rise again.

"Go dig my grave," Lord Banner cried,
And dig it broad and deep
And lay my fair lady by my side
And Young LaGrove at our feet. "

Lord Banner then fell upon his sword
After giving his love one last kiss.
Have you ever heard of three lovers dying
So tragic a death as this!

Child #81
From The New Green Mountain Songster, Flanders et al.
Collected from Mrs Phyllis MacDonald Burditt, VT ca. 1933
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