The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #67882   Message #1137238
Posted By: Roberto
15-Mar-04 - 02:11 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Louis Killen's Sir Patrick Spens
Subject: Lyr Req: Killen's Patrick Spens
From LOUIS KILLEN, The Rose in June, Old and New Tradition 2001. Louis Killen writes that the tune he sings is from the singing of Ewan MacColl (and it is true) and the text from his friend Lawrence E. Charlton, Borderer and ballad scholar (but I find it very similar to the one sung by Ewan MacColl as well). I've placed question marks in the first, fifth, tenth and fourteenth stanza. May "fa" mean "where", besides "who"? I hear "attend", instead than "tak' tent", as MacColl used to sing, but I'm not sure. Please, could someone check and correct this text? Thank you. Roberto

The King sits in Dunfermline toon
Drinking the blood-red wine
Fa (???) will I find me a skeely skipper
To stir (?) this new ship o' mine?

And it's up and spak' a doited carle
Stood by the King's ain knee:
Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That ever sailed the sea

The King has screvit a braid letter
And signed it wi' his ain hand
And sent it tae young Patrick Spens
Was walking on Leith strand

When first he lookit the letter on
He laughed sae loud and free
But when he'd done the readin' oot
The tears fell frae his ee

Oh fa, fa's (???) done this fell deed
And telt the King o' me?
Tho' it be my ain faither
An ill death may he dee

Tae Norowa', tae Norowa'
To Norowa' ower the faem
The King's daughter o' Norowa'
Tis we maun bring her hame

But they hadna been in Norowa'
A week but barely three
When a' the lords o' Norowa'
They up and spak' sae free

This ootland Scots waste oor King's gowd
And drink our Queen's fee -
Weary fa' the tongue that spak'
Sic a muckle lee

Oh how can this be? – says Patrick Spens
I pray ye tell tae me
For the bows o' our ship they are wrocht wi' gold
And there's twal kists o' white monie

Attend, attend (???), my guid men all
See you be weel forn
For cometh wind or cometh hail
Our guid ship sails the morn

But up and spak' the weatherman
Says – I fear we'll be a' drooned
For I saw the new moon late yestereen
Wi' the auld moon in her airms

And they hadna sailed a league, a league
A league but barely three
When the wind grew haich and the lift grew laich
And the gurly grew the sea

Fa will I find me a bonny boy
To tak' my steer in hand
While I gae climb the topmost mast
To see if I can spy land?

Well, he had not gaed a step, a step
A step but barely ane
When the bow flew (??) out of our goodly ship
And the salt, salt sea come in

Oh laith, laith were those good Scots lords
To wat their cork-heeled schoon
But lang afore the play was ower
They wat their hats abune

And lang may the ladies sit
With their gowd kems in their hands
Ere they see young Patrick Spens
Come sailing ower Leith strand

Half ower, half ower frae Aberdour
Where the sea is wide and deep
It's there that lies young Patrick Spens
With the Scots lords at his feet