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Two Sisters (Bonnie Broom)

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Two Sisters (Bonnie Broom)

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Two Sisters (Bonnie Broom)

There was a lady lived in York
Lay the bend tae the bonnie broom
Two daughters were the babes she bore
Fa la la la la la la la la la

As one grew bright as is the sun, Lay...
So darker grew the elder one, fa la...

A knight came riding to the lady's door
he traveled far to be the wooer

He courted one with gloves and rings
But he loved the younger above all things

Sister will you go with me
To watch the ships all on the sea

She took her sister by the hand
And led her down to the North Sea strand

Long they stood on the windy shore
The Darker threw her sister o'er

Sometimes she sank, sometimes she swam
Crying, Sister, reach to me your hand

O Sister, Sister, let me live
And all that's mine I'll surely give

It's your own true love that I'll have and more
But thou shalt never come ashore

And there she floated like a swan
The salt sea bore her body on

Some minstrels walked along the strand
And saw the maiden float close to them

They made a harp of her breastbone
Whose sound would melt a heart of stone

They took strands of her yellow hair
And with it strung their harp so fair

They went into her father's hall
To play the harp before them all

But as they laid it on a stone
The harp began to play alone

The first string sang a doleful sound
The brighter, younger sister drownded

The second string did then reply
In terror sits the black-haired bride

The first string sang beneath the bow
And surely now the tears would flow

Child #10
sung by Frankie Armstrong on Lovely on Water
  and by the Golden Ring
   Other versions tend to have similar verses; different
   tunes and choruses.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III