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Lyr Add: Sheila Kay Adams' 'Two Sisters'

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GUEST,Pat Blackman 22 Jun 12 - 07:04 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Sheila Kay Adams' 'Two Sisters'
From: GUEST,Pat Blackman
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 07:04 PM

I noticed several weeks ago a new old version of "Two Sisters" on YouTube, recorded in 2011 by Sam Gleaves, sung by Sheila Kay Adams. It's in two parts, and most fascinating. In my experience it's rare to find a version of Child 10 in America with narrative so fully developed and the magical retribution included. I don't see anything about it here yet, but apologize if I've missed it and am reposting.

"Two Sisters" - Sheila Kay Adams (Part 1)

"Two Sisters" - Sheila Kay Adams (Part 2)

Here are the lyrics as best I can hear them.

There was an old man who lived in the north
Bow down the willow tree
He had three daughters, count 'em one, two, three
Bow down the willow tree

There was a handsome young man who come from the south
and the old man trotted his three daughters out.

Said "here's my oldest, she can spin
and the second can that music play."

But the handsome young man had eyes for one
such beauty he had never seen.

Said the old man to young Willie now
"You'll take the oldest one from me."

Said young Willie to the old father
"When I return from the south" he said
"'tis the youngest I shall claim from thee."

He gave the oldest a beaver hat
and a dulcimer to the second that

But to the youngest one he gave a ring
saying "Now you are troth to me."

But he did not see the face of the oldest one
She was handsome but not loverly

Could not read the eldest's thoughts
or he would never got upon his horse

'Twas not two weeks, I'm sure not three
when the eldest said to the yougest
"Come let's walk down by the sea."

It's as they were walking by the sea
the youngest reached for an ash limb in

And as she reached, the oldest one
she took her foot and pushed her in.

Said the youngest to the eldest one,
"Oh sister, in deep I am now!"

Says "won't you take offen your cloak
and throw thee in to me here now."

"Oh I shant take offen my cloak
for to drown is the reason I brought you here."

"Oh, why is it" cried the youngest one
"that you would see the death of me?"

"There was a young man that come from the south.
He chose you and that's what this is about."

"Oh please," cried the youngest as she went
"I'll give to you all the gifts he sent!"

"Oh no!" cried the eldest one you see
"I won't demand gifts that mean nothing to me."

"I cannot make up his mind for thee.
I cannot help that he choseth me."

And as the tide kept a-rollin' in
the youngest finally sank so low
that she was never seen again.

When the young man came back in one year
he bowed to his knees and he wept some tears

Then boldly up stepped the eldest one
"Oh, you make a wife of me" she said
"I'll give to you a son."

Oh the youngest one died in the sea
but her body it washed up a stream.

And as the tide kept a-rolling in
it's further up the stream went she.

There was a young miller's son on the bank
It's set his hook and a-fishing was he.

But there he hooked the youngest one
and he pulled her to the shore he did.

So frightened in his heart was he
he hollered for his father, "Come now see!"

And seeing the yellow hair he thought,
"Oh no, this be the youngest one."

Well they had a big kettle in the back
and they biled off the flesh right down to the quick.

Her bones they put all in a sack
and put 'em next to the door on the porch out back

"Now don't say a word to your mother son.
She's got no sense and can't hold her tounge."

But the miller's wife looked in the sack
and nosy she was, she pulled one out.

But what she grabbed was a hand of hair,
said, "This must've been the maiden fair."

Well along come a bard, he's a-playing his harp
and he asked the old woman for something to eat.

Said, "I will set a table so fine
if you'll haul away that sack; it's thine."

Well he et and he et till he held no more
and he picked up the sack and went down the road.

That night as he leaned against the old oak tree
with the fire light he saw just what was there in the sack.

"Oh Lord! It's the maiden of the king!
Now here's a story about that I'll sing."

As he laid the bones and the hair all on the ground he said
"Why this'll make a fiddle play the finest tune."

Out of those bones he made a fiddle true-
made the prettiest sound you'd ever hope to hear.

And he made a fiddle case of the long thigh bone.
And he made fiddle pegs of he her little finger bones.

And when it come time to string that bow
as he looked about for something to string her with
"Well I'll settle on her hair" said he.

And as he went along he sang
"I've made me a fiddle with the king's daughter's hair."

And at the wedding feast don't you know
why that's just where that bard did go.

And as they raised the very first toast
the eldest stood to make her boast.

"Oh bard, O bard, it's out!" cried she.
"Take out thine fiddle and play me a tune."

And as the bard placed it under his chin
well that's when the youngest begin to sing.

And as her hair hit the strings
"My sister she was the one done me in!"

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