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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
JB3 The Braes of Yarrow (5) RE: The Braes of Yarrow 07 Aug 98


There's a version in the data base, "Dowie Dens of Yarrow" that appears to be a combination of Child's numbers 214 and 215, which he considered to be separate but related songs. The lyrics that match your request come from Volume IV, #214, "The Braes O Yarrow" version D.

-after the first two verses,above_

Then he went hame to his ain house
For to sleep or the morrow
But the first sound the trumpet gae

Oh stay at hame, his lady said
Oh stay untill the morrow
And I will mount upon a steed
And ride with you to Yarrow

Oh hawd your tongue my dear, said he
And talk not of the morrow
This day I have to fight again
In the dowy deans of Yarrow

As he went up yon high, high hill
Down the dowy deans of Yarrow
There he spied ten weel armd men
There was nane o them his marrow

Five he wounded, five he slew
In the dowy deans of Yarrow
But an Englishman out of a bush
Shot at him a lang sharp arrow

Ye may gang hame, my bretheren three
Ye may gang hame with sorrow
And say this to my lady fair
I am sleeping sound on Yarrow

Siste, sister, I dreamt a dream
You read a dream to gude, O
That I was puing the heather green
On the bonny braes of Yarrow

Sister, sister, I'll read your dream
But alas! it's unto sorrow
He is lying dead on Yarrow

She as pu'd the ribbons of her head
And I wot it was wi sorrow
And she's gane up yon high, high hill
Down the dowy deans of Yarrow

Her hair it was five quarters lang
The colour of it was yellowBR> She as ty'd it round his middle jimp
And she as carried him frae YarrowBR>

O hawd your tongue, her father says
What needs a' this grief and sorrow
I'll wed you on as fair a flower
As ever sprang on Yarrow

No, hawd your tongue, my father dear
I'm fow of grief and sorrow
For a fairer flower never sprang
Than I've lost this day on Yarrow

This lady beigh big wi bairn
And fow of grief and sorrow
She died within her father's arms
And she died lang or the morrow

I know a version sung by Alice Mcmoreland (sp?) that is similar:

There was a lady lived in the North
I ne'er could find her marrow
She was courted by nine gentlemen
And a ploughman lad frae Yarrow

Son, oh son, do you tak' your gun
Or do you tak' your arrow
Or do you tak' your gui'e broadsword
For tae fight your cost in Yarrow

Mither dear, I do not tak' m' gun
I do not tak' m' arrow
But I'll tak' wi' me my gui'e broadsword
For tae fight m' cost in Yarrow

He's jumped' ontae his steed's back
And he's rode doon tae Yarrow
And there he spied nine armed' men
Settin' drinkin' wine intae Yarrow

Dae you come here for tae drink the wine
Dae you come here for sorrow
Or dae you come here for to fight your cost
On the dowie dens of Yarrow

I dae not come here for tae drink the wine
I dae not come here for sorrow
But it's I come here for to fight m' cost
On the dowie dens of Yarrow

Three he slew and three he did flew
And three were sorely wounded>BR> When her fause brither John stepped frae behind a tree
And he's pierced him wi' an arrow

Go home, go home you false young man
Go tell your sister sorrow
That her ploughboy lad is pale and wan
On the bloody boughs o' Yarrow>BR>

Father dear, I dreamed a dream last night
I doubt it will bring me sorrow
For I dreamed I plucked white heather bells
On the dowie dens o' Yarrow

Daughter dear, I'll read your dream
And don't ye prove it sorrow
For your ploughboy lad is dead and gone
On the bloody boughs o' Yarrow

Daughter dear, dry up your tears
And don't ye prove it sorrow
For I'll wed ye tae some higher degree
Than your plougboy lad frae Yarrow

Father dear, ye hae seven bonnie sons
Ye may wed them all the morrow
But they might hae left m' ain true love alone
When he fought his cost in Yarrow

Mither dear, go mak' m' bed
Go mak' it long and narrow
For my ploughboy died for me the day
I will die for him the morrow's mornin'

Sons, oh sons, ye hae done wrong
Ye've proved it all by sorrow
For ye might hae left her ain true love alone
When he fought his cost in Yarrow

The second part of the song in the database, called "Rare Willie Drowned in Yarrow", is number 215 Child's collection of ballads (lyrics).

Oh Willie is rare and Willie is fair
And Willie is wondrous bonnie
And Willie has said he would marry with me
If ever he did marry any

Oh sister dear, I've dreamed a dream
I'm afraid it does mean sorrow
I dreamed I pulled the heather green
In the darkened dens of the Yarrow

Oh sister dear, I'll read your dream
I'm afraid it does mean sorrow
You'll get a letter e'er it is eve
That your lover has drowned in the Yarrow

She looked for him upstream, searched for him down
In much distress and sorrow
She found his body beneath some bush
In the darkened dens of the Yarrow

Her hair it was three quarters long
And the color it was yellow
She tied it 'round his middle small
And she pulled him from the Yarrow

My bed was made wide yester eve
Tonight 'twill be made narrow
There'll never a man lie by my side
Since Wille has drowned in the Yarrow

I learned this version from Betty Smith.q


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