The Wren She Lies in Care's Bed 1. The Wren scho lyes in care's bed, In care's bed, in care's bed; The Wren scho lyes in care's bed, In meikle dule and pyne---O. Quhen in came Robin Red-breast, Red-breast, Red-breast; Quhen in came Robin Red-breast, Wi' succar-saps and wine---O. Now, maiden, will ye taste o' this, Taste o' this, taste o' this; Now, maiden, will ye taste o' this? It's succar-saps and wine---O. Na, ne'er a drap, Robin, Robin, Robin; Na, ne'er a drap, Robin, Gin it was ne'er so fine---O. * * * * * * And quhere's the ring that I gied ze, That I gied ze, that I gied ze; And quhere's the ring that I gied ze, Ze little cutty quean---O? I gied it till an soger, A soger, a soger, I gied it till a soger, A kynd sweet-heart o' myne---O. 2. Jeny Vran wiz lyin sick, lyin sick, lyin sick, Jany Vran wiz lyin sick upon a mortal time; In cam Robin Redbreest, Redbreest, Redbreest, In cam Robin Redbreest wi' sugar saps an wine; Says, `Birdie will ye pree this, pree this, pree this?' Says, `Birdie will ye pree this, an' ye'll be birdie mine?' `I winna pree't tho' I should die, tho' I should die, tho' I should die, I winna pree't tho' I should die, for it cam not in time.' ________________________________________________________ (1) Herd (1776), II.209); titled "The Wren; or Lennox Love to Blantyre", this being the tune-name. With music, in SMM V (1796), 497 (no. 483). Chambers SSPB (1862), 242; PRS (1847, 159; 1870, 187) [followed by Ford CR 140, MacLennan SNR (1909), 29, Montgomerie SNR (1946), 142 (no. 176)], has for the last 4 lines: "I gied it till an ox-ee,/ An ox-ee, an ox-ee;/ I gied it till an ox-ee,/ A true sweitheart o' mine, O"--the recipient being the great tit, Parus major. Cf. the incipit of "Gentle Robin". (2) Gregor (1881), 138, from the north-east. See ODNR 242 (no. 271), "Jenny Wren fell sick". Halliwell 1842 (p. 48, no. lxxx) gives: Little Jenny Wren fell sick upon a time,/ When in came Robin Red-breast, and brought her bread and wine;/ "Eat, Jenny, drink, Jenny, all shall be thine!"/ Then Jenny she got better, and stood upon her feet,/ And says to little Robin, "I love thee not a bit!"/ Then Robin he was angry and flew upon a twig,/ "Hoot upon thee, fie upon thee, ungrateful chit!" (apparently a variant, whether a memorial version or not, of lines in T. Evans's Life and Death of Jenny Wren, c. 1800). ODNR says Herd's version is augmented in Peter Buchan's B.M. MS. (Add. 29408), perhaps by P.B. himself. Lennox Love to Blantyre appears in John Walsh, Caledonian Country Dances ii (c. 1736), as How can I keep my Maiden-head (the name of an old indelicate song, as Stenho preserved in MMC [1799, 65] and Sharpe [Ballad Book, 1823 (1880), 54], although there the tune direction is The Birks of Abergeldie). Later in Bremner's Reels (1757), 17; but before in Margaret Sinkler's Musick-Book, 1710 (as Lennox love to Blanter) [Glen ESM 138]. See also note to "The King o' France he ran a race". MS oct99
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!