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toadfrog Origin: The Butcher Boy / Butcher's Boy (32) Lyr Add: THE BUTCHER'S BOY (from Elizabeth Stewart 21 Dec 05


Elizabeth Stewart sings this "Butcher's Boy," and to me it looks like a completely different song from the above. The liner notes would suggest it's all the same, but the theme is different. It also has a different feel--it is blood-chilling rather than mournful. See that penultimate Verse!

THE BUTCHER'S BOY


O my parents they gi'ed to me good learning
Good learning they gi'ed to me
They sent me to a butcher shop
A butcher's boy to be.

I fell in love with a nice young lass
She'd a dark and a roving 'ee
I promised for to marry her
If one night she would lie with me

He courted her for many a month
Six long months and mair
But another ain had ta'en his ee
And he was to despair.

For Mary Ann was wi' bairn to him
O Willie fit will I dee
For my bairn will soon be born,
So Willie marry me!

He went up to her parents' house
Twixt the hours of eight or nine
He asked her for to take a walk
Down by the riverside

They walked east and the walked west
And they walked all around
Till he took a knife from out his breast
And he stabbed her to the ground

She fell upon her bended knee
And for mercy she did cry
O Willie dear don't murder me
And leave me here to die

He took her by her milk white hand
And he dragged her on and on
until he came to a rushing stream,
and he plunged her body in.

O he went on to his mother's house,
'Tween the hours of twelve and one
'Tis little did his mother think
What her only son had done.

Well the answer she did put to him,
Why the bloodstains on your clothes
The answer that he give to her
'Twas from a bleeding nose

He asked her for a candle
For to light him up to bed
And likewise for a handkerchief
For to tie around his head.

No peace nor rest could the young man take
No peace nor rest could he find
For he thought he saw the flames of hell
Approachin' in his mind.

This man he has been taen and tried
And the gallows was his doom,
For the murdering of sweet Mary Ann
Afore that was in bloom.

JWM


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