The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16270   Message #152719
Posted By: Amos
21-Dec-99 - 10:21 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: The Snows They Melt the Soonest
Subject: RE: The Snows - lyric req
Fain (I always thought) means "desires" as in Lord Randall's complaint "I fain would lie doon". But lo! I find we ar eboth right with room even for a third sense to the word (compelled). Quoth Webster:

Etymology: Middle English fagen, fayn, from Old English fægen; akin to Old Norse fegiun happy, Old English fæger fair Date: before 12th century 1 archaic : HAPPY, PLEASED 2 archaic : INCLINED, DESIROUS 3 a : WILLING b : being obliged or constrained : COMPELLED