Limited Time Offer: Get 2 Months of ABCmouse.com for only $5!

Medieval Ballads

Lord Randall (Scottish Ballad)

"O where ha you been, Lord Randal, my son?
And where ha you been, my handsome young man?"
"I ha been at the greenwood; mother, mak my bed soon,
For I'm wearied wi hunting, and fain wad lie down."

"An wha met ye there, Lord Randal, my son?
And wha met ye there, my handsome young man?"
"O I met wi my true-love; mother, mak my bed soon,
For I'm wearied wi huntin, and fain wad lie down."

"And what did she give you, Lord Randal, My son?
And wha did she give you, my handsome young man?"
"Eels fried in a pan; mother, mak my bed soon,
For I'm wearied wi huntin, and fein wad lie down."

"And what gat your leavins, Lord Randal my son?
And wha gat your leavins, my handsome young man?"
"My hawks and my hounds; mother, mak my bed soon,
For I'm wearied wi huntin, and fein wad lie down."

"And what becam of them, Lord Randal, my son?
And what becam of them, my handsome young man?
"They stretched their legs out and died; mother mak my bed soon,
For I'm wearied wi huntin, and fain wad lie down."

"O I fear you are poisoned, Lord Randal, my son!
I fear you are poisoned, my handsome young man!"
"O yes, I am poisoned; mother, mak my bed soon,
For I'm sick at the heart, and fain wad lie down."

"What d'ye leave to your mother, Lord Randal, my son?
What d'ye leave to your mother, my handsome young man?"
"Four and twenty milk kye; mother, mak my bed soon,
For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie down."

"What d'ye leave to your sister, Lord Randal, my son?
What d'ye leave to your sister, my handsome young man?"
"My gold and my silver; mother mak my bed soon,
For I'm sick at the heart, an I fain wad lie down."

"What d'ye leave to your brother, Lord Randal, my son?
What d'ye leave to your brother, my handsome young man?"
"My houses and my lands; mother, mak my bed soon,
For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie down."

"What d'ye leave to your true-love, Lord Randal, my son?
What d'ye leave to your true-love, my handsome young man?"
"I leave her hell and fire; mother mak my bed soon,
For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie down."

---------------------------------------

The Three Ravens (Scottish Ballad)

There were three ravens sat on a tree,
Downe a downe, hay downe, hay downe
There were three ravens sat on a tree,
With a downe
There were three ravens sat on a tree,
They were as blacke as they might be.
With a downe derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe

The one of them said to his mate,
"Where shall we our bradefast take?

"Downe in yonder greene field,
There lies a knight slain under his shield.

"His hounds they lie downe at his feete,
So well they can their master keepe.

"His haukes they flie so eagerly,
There's no fowle dare him to come nie."

Downe there come a fallow doe,
As great with young as she might goe.

She lift up his boudy hed,
And kist his wounds that were so red.

She got him up upon her backe,
And carried him to earthen lake.

She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herselfe ere even-song time.

God send every gentleman,
Such haukes, such hounds, and such a leman.

----------------------------------------------

The Unquiet Grave (Scottish Ballad)

Cold blows the wind to my true love,
And gently drops the rain,
I never had but one sweetheart,
And in greenwood she lies slain,
And in greenwood she lies slain.

I'll do as much for my sweetheart
As any young man may;
I'll sit and mourn all on her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day

When the twelvemonth and one day was past,
The ghost began to speak;
"Why sittest here all on my grave,
And will not let me sleep?

"There's one thing that I want, sweetheart,
There's one thing that I crave
And that is a kiss from your lily-white lips--
Then I'll go from your grave

"My breast it is as cold as clay,
My breath smells earthly strong
And if you kiss my cold clay lips,
Your days they won't be long.

"Go fetch me water from the desert,
And blood from out of a stone;
Go fetch me milk from a fair maid's breast
That a young man never had known."

"O down in yonder grove, sweetheart,
Where you and I would walk,
The first flower that ever I saw
Is wither'd to a stalk

"The stalk is wither'd and dry, sweetheart,
And the flower will never return
And since I lost my own sweetheart,
What can I do but mourn?

"When shall we meet again, sweetheart?
When shall we meet again?"
"When the oaken leaves that fall from trees
Are green and spring up again
Are green and spring up again."

----------------------------------------------------

Bonny Barbara Allan (English Ballad)

 

IT was in and about the Martinmas time,

 

  When the green leaves were a falling,

 

That Sir John Græme, in the West Country,

 

  Fell in love with Barbara Allan.

 

 

 

He sent his man down through the town,

        5

  To the place where she was dwelling:

 

“O haste and come to my master dear,

 

  Gin ye be Barbara Allan.”

 

 

 

O hooly, hooly rose she up,

 

  To the place where he was lying,

        10

And when she drew the curtain by,

 

  “Young man, I think you’re dying.”

 

 

 

“O it’s I’m sick, and very, very sick,

 

  And ’tis a’ for Barbara Allan:”

 

“O the better for me ye’s never be,

        15

  Tho your heart’s blood were a spilling.

 

 

 

“O dinna ye mind, young man,” said she,

 

  “When ye was in the tavern a drinking,

 

That ye made the healths gae round and round,

 

  And slighted Barbara Allan?”

        20

 

 

He turned his face unto the wall,

 

  And death was with him dealing:

 

“Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all,

 

  And be kind to Barbara Allan.”

 

 

 

And slowly, slowly raise she up,

        25

  And slowly, slowly left him,

 

And sighing said, she coud not stay,

 

  Since death of life had reft him.

 

 

 

She had not gane a mile but twa,

 

  When she heard the dead-bell ringing,

        30

And every jow that the dead-bell gied,

 

  It cry’d, Woe to Barbara Allan!

 

 

 

“O mother, mother, make my bed!

 

  O make it saft and narrow!

 

Since my love died for me to-day,

        35

  I’ll die for him to-morrow.”

 
                                                                                           -----------------------------

Get Up and Bar the Door (English Ballad)

 

IT fell about the Martinmas time,

 

  And a gay time it was then,

 

When our good wife got puddings to make,

 

  And she’s boild them in the pan.

 

 

 

The wind sae cauld blew south and north,

        5

  And blew into the floor;

 

Quoth our goodman to our goodwife,

 

  “Gae 1 out and bar the door.”

 

 

 

“My hand is in my hussyfskap, 2

 

  Goodman, as ye may see;

        10

An it shoud nae be barrd this hundred year,

 

  It’s no be barrd for me.”

 

 

 

They made a paction tween them twa,

 

  They made it firm and sure,

 

That the first word whaeer shoud speak,

        15

  Shoud rise and bar the door.

 

 

 

Then by there came two gentlemen,

 

  At twelve o’clock at night,

 

And they could neither see house nor hall,

 

  Nor coal nor candle-light.

        20

 

 

“Now whether is this a rich man’s house,

 

  Or whether is it a poor?”

 

But neer a word wad ane o them speak,

 

  For barring of the door.

 

 

 

And first they ate the white puddings,

        25

  And then they ate the black;

 

Tho muckle thought the goodwife to hersel,

 

  Yet neer a word she spake.

 

 

 

Then said the one unto the other,

 

  “Here, man, tak ye my knife;

        30

Do ye tak aff the auld man’s beard,

 

  And I’ll kiss the goodwife.”

 

 

 

“But there’s nae water in the house,

 

  And what shall we do than?”

 

“What ails thee at the pudding-broo, 3

        35

  That boils into the pan?”

 

 

 

O up then started our goodman,

 

  An angry man was he:

 

“Will ye kiss my wife before my een,

 

  And scad 4 me wi pudding-bree?”

        40

 

 

Then up and started our goodwife,

 

  Gied three skips on the floor:

 

“Goodman, you’ve spoken the foremost word,

 

  Get up and bar the door.”

 
 

 

Get 2 Months for $5!