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Bitter Withy As it fell out on a high holiday Small rain from the sky did fall Sweet Jesus asked of his own mother dear Whether he might play at ball To play, to play, dear child she did say It's time that you have been gone And don't let me hear complaints about you At night when you do come home Now our Savior walked down into yonder town As far as the holy, holy well And there he met three of the finest children That ever any tongue could tell Good morn, good morn, good morn, said they Good morning, then said he, said he Now which of you three fine children Will play at ball with me Oh we are lords and ladies sons Born in a bowery hall And you are but a maiden's child Born in an oxen stall Now our savior built a bridge with the beams of the sun and over the water ran he, ran he And the three jolly children followed after him And drowned they were all three The upward ball and the downward ball Their mothers they did wail and squall Saying, Mary mild, fetch home your child For ours are drownded all Then Mary mild picked a handful of withies And laid our dear savior across her knee And with that handful of withy twigs She gave him slashes three Oh cursed be to the bitter withy That has caused me to smart, to smart And that shall be the very first tree That shall perish right at the heart recorded by MaColl & Lloyd- English & Scottish Ballads; Roberts & Barrand - Nowell Sing We Clear DT #310 SOF
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