Digital Tradition Mirror

Border Widow's Lament

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Border Widow's Lament

My love he built me a bonnie bower
And clad it all with lily flower
A brawer bower ye ne'er did see
Than my true love he built for me

There came a man by middle day
He spied his sport and went away
And brought the King that very night
Who broke my bower and slew my knight

He slew my knight to me sae dear
He slew my knight and poin'ed his gear
My servants all for life did flee
And left me in extremity

I sewed his sheet, making my moan
I watched the corpse, myself alone
I watched his body, night and day
No living creature came that way

I took his body on my back
And whiles I gaed and whiles I sat
I digged a grave and laid him in
And happ'd him with the sod sae green

But think not ye my heart was sair
When I laid the mold on his yellow hair
Oh think not ye my heart was woe
When I turned about, away to go

No living man I'll love again
Since that my lovely knight is slain
With a lock of his yellow hair
I'll chain my heart for evermore

fragment of a longer ballad where she dresses as a man, becomes a
servant to the king and eventually marries the king.
from Smith's Scottish Minstrelsy 1820
sung by Lisa Null on Feathered Maiden
Tune from The Scottish Folksinger, Buchan and Hall
Child #106

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

Contents: ? A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Main Page