Digital Tradition Mirror

The Douglas Tragedy

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

The Douglas Tragedy

"Rise up, rise up, Lord Douglas," she said,
"And put on your armour so bright;
Let it never be said that a daughter of thine
Was married to a lord under night.

"Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons,
And stand to your armour so clear,
And take better care of your younger sister,
For your elder's away I fear.

He's mounted her on a milk-white steed,
And  himself on a dapple grey,
With a bugle horn hanging down  by his side
And so lightly they both rode away

Lord William looked o'er his left shoulder,
To see what he could see;
And there he spied her seven brothers bold
Come riding over the lea.

"Light down, light down, Lady Margaret," he said,
And hold my steed in your hand,
Till I go and fight with your seven brothers bold
And your father, I'll make him stand

She held his steed in her milk-white hand,
And never shed one tear
Until that she saw her seven brothers fa'.
And her father still fighting so near.

"Hold off, hold off, Lord William," she cried,
"Your strokes they are wondrous sore;
True lovers I can get many a one,
But a father I'll never find more."

She's taken out her handkerchief,
Was made o' the holland so fine,
And she has wiped her father's bloody wounds,
That was redder than the wine.

"O choose, o choose, Lady Margaret," he said,
"Choose for to gang or to bide."
"I'll gang wi' you, Lord William," she said,
"For you've left me no other guide."

He mounted her on a milk-white steed,
And himsel' on a dapple grey;
With a bugle horn hung down by his side,
And so slowly they both rode away.

It's they rode on and further on,
It was a' by the light o' the moon,
Until they came to yon bonnie waterside,
And there they both lighted doon.

They lighted doon to take a drink
Of the water that ran sae clear,
It was there that she spied his heart's blood run,
And sair she began to fear,

Hold up, hold up, Lord William," she cried,
"For this night I fear you're slain."
"It's only the shadow of my scarlet cloak
In the water shining so plain."

It's they rode on and further on,
It was a' by the light o' the moon,
Until they came to his mother's high gate,
And there they both lighted doon.

Rise up, rise up, lady mother," he cried,
"Rise up and let us in;
Rise up, rise up, lady mother," he cried
"For this night my true love I've won."

"Ye'll mak' my bed baith lang and wide
Ye'll mak' it baith saft and deep,
And lay my true love doon by my side,
That the sounder we may sleep."

Lord William died in the middle o' the night,
Lady Margaret she died on the morrow;
Lord William he died for his true love's sake
Lady Margaret she died for the sorrow.

Lord William was buried in St Mary's kirk,
Lady Margaret in Mary's choir,
And from Lord William's breast there grew a red rose,
And from Lady Margaret's a sweet brier.

They grew on and further on,
Till they reached each other full near,
And everyone that passed them by,
Would have known they were true lovers dear.

printed in Gavin Grieg, Folk-Song of the North-East
Version collected by Scott (1833) has additional verse:
But bye and bye rade the Black Douglas
And wow but he was rough!
For he pull'd up the bonny brier
And flang'd it in St. Marie's Loch.

Tune from Bronson

Child #7
Laws M27

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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