The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37274   Message #660382
Posted By: Jim Dixon
28-Feb-02 - 09:47 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Loreena McKennitt's 'The Bonny Swans
Subject: Lyr Add: THE BONNY SWANS (Loreena McKennitt)
I see no reason not to have McKennitt's version in our database as well as all the other versions of the Two Sisters!

(Music by Loreena McKennitt. Lyrics traditional, arr. and adapted by Loreena McKennitt.)

A farmer there lived in the north country,
With a hey ho and a bonny o,
And he had daughters one, two, three,
The swans swim so bonny o.

These daughters they walked by the river's brim.
The eldest pushed the youngest in.

Oh sister, oh sister, pray lend me your hand,
And I will give you house and land.

I'll give you neither hand nor glove
Unless you give me your own true love.

Sometimes she sank. Sometimes she swam,
Until she came to a miller's dam.

The miller's daughter, dressed in red,
She went for some water to make some bread.

Oh father, oh daddy, here swims a swan.
It's very like a gentlewoman.

They placed her on the bank to dry.
There came a harper passing by.

He made harp pins of her fingers fair.
He made harp strings of her golden hair.

He made a harp of her breastbone.
And straight it began to play alone.

He brought it to her father's hall.
And there was the court, assembled all.

He laid the harp upon a stone.
And straight it began to play alone.

And there does sit my father the King.
And yonder sits my mother the Queen.

And there does sit my brother Hugh.
And by him William, sweet and true.

And there does sit my false sister, Anne,
Who drowned me for the sake of a man.

[From "The Mask And Mirror" (1994). Also on "Live in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts" (1995).]