Digital Tradition Mirror

The Wife of Ushers Well

The Wife of Ushers Well

There lived a lady in merry Scotland
And she had sons all three
And she sent them away into merry England
To learn some English dee'

They had not been in merry England
For twelve months and one day
When the news came back to their own mother dear
Their bodies were in cold clay

I will not believe in God, she said
Nor Christ in eternity
Till they send me back my own three sons
The same as they went from me

Old Christmas time was drawing near
With the nights so dark and long
This mother's own three sons came home
Walking by the light of the moon

And soon as they reached their own mothers gate
So loud did the bell they ring
There's none so ready as their own mother dear
To loose these children in

The cloth was spread, the meat put on.
No meat, Lord, can we take.
It's been so long, been so many a day
Since you our dinner did make

The bed was made, the sheets put on
No rest, Lord, can we take
It's been so long, been so many a day
Since you or bed did make

Then Christ did call for the roasted cock
Feathered with His holy hand
It crowed three times, all in the dish
In the place where he did stand.

He crowed three times, all in the dish
Set at the table head
And isn't it a pity, they all did say
The quick should part from the dead

So farewell stick, farewell stone
Farewell to the maidens all
Farewell to the nurse that gave us suck
And down the tears did fall.

Child #79
Recorded by John Roberts and Tony Barrand on Dark Ships of the
Forest, Folk Legacy FSI-65.

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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