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THE WIFE OF USHERS WELL

There lived a lady in merry Scotland
And she had sons all three
And she sent them away into merry England
To learn some English dee'

They had not been in merry England
For twelve months and one day
When the news came back to their own mother dear
Their bodies were in cold clay

I will not believe in God, she said
Nor Christ in eternity
Till they send me back my own three sons
The same as they went from me

Old Christmas time was drawing near
With the nights so dark and long
This mother's own three sons came home
Walking by the light of the moon

And soon as they reached their own mothers gate
So loud did the bell they ring
There's none so ready as their own mother dear
To loose these children in

The cloth was spread, the meat put on.
No meat, Lord, can we take.
It's been so long, been so many a day
Since you our dinner did make

The bed was made, the sheets put on
No rest, Lord, can we take
It's been so long, been so many a day
Since you or bed did make

Then Christ did call for the roasted cock
Feathered with His holy hand
It crowed three times, all in the dish
In the place where he did stand.

He crowed three times, all in the dish
Set at the table head
And isn't it a pity, they all did say
The quick should part from the dead

So farewell stick, farewell stone
Farewell to the maidens all
Farewell to the nurse that gave us suck
And down the tears did fall.

Child #79
Recorded by John Roberts and Tony Barrand on Dark Ships of the
Forest, Folk Legacy FSI-65.
@ghost @magic @religion
filename[ USHERWEL
DC



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In Mudcat MIDIs:
There Lived a Lady in Merry Scotland (The song was recorded, as There Lived a Lady in Merry Scotland, by Ralph Vaughan Williams from Mrs. Loveridge at the Homme, Dilwyn, Herefordshire, in 1908, and was published in The Folk-Lore of Herefordshire, Ella Leather, 1912. Midi made from notation in that book for verse 1; Mrs. Loveridge introduced variations into the tune in subsequent verses; these appear in Ella Leather's book and are quoted in Bronson, vol.2, 79:3, p.246: There Was a Lady in Merry Scotland The DT file differs in some respects from the original. In verse 1, line 2, dee' is a mistake for deeds. Other differences are presumably the result of editing by Roberts and Barrand: Verse 3, lines 1 and 2: I will not believe in God, she said / Nor Christ in eternity was originally I will not believe in a man, she said , / Nor in Christ in eternity Verse 4 appears to have been introduced from another, unnamed source; unless the Leather book omitted it for some reason. The original had this verse in its place (not in the DT file): And God put life all in their bodies, Their bodies all in their chest, And sent them back to their own dear mother, For in heaven they could take no rest. Verse 6: originally The cloth was spread, the meat put on; No meat, Lord, can we take, Since it's so long and many a day, Since we have been here before. Verse 7: originally The bed was made, the sheets put on No bed, Lord, can we take, It's been so long and many a day Since we have been here before. Verse 8: originally Then Christ did call for the roasted cock, That was feathered with His only (holy?) hands; He crowed three times all in the dish, In the place where he did stand. Verse 9 does not appear in the original. Verse 10: originally Then farewell stick and farewell stone, Farewell to the maidens all. Farewell to the nurse that gave us our suck; And down the tears did fall.)
The Wife of Ushers Well ( The song was recorded, as There Lived a Lady in Merry Scotland, by Ralph Vaughan Williams from Mrs. Loveridge at the Homme, Dilwyn, Herefordshire, in 1908, and was published in The Folk-Lore of Herefordshire, Ella Leather, 1912. Midi made from notation in that book for verse 1; Mrs. Loveridge introduced variations into the tune in subsequent verses; these appear in Ella Leather's book and are quoted in Bronson, vol.2, 79:3, p.246: There Was a Lady in Merry Scotland)




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