Dewy Dens of Yarrow There were five sons and two were twins There were five sons of Yarrow They all did fightn for their own true loven In the dewy dens of Yarrow Oh mother dear I hadn a dream A dream of grief and sorrow I dreamed I was gathering heather blooms In the dewy dens of Yarrow Oh daughter dear I readn your dream Your dream of grief and sorrow Your love, your love is lying slain In the dewy dens of Yarrow She sought him up and she sought him down She sought him all through Yarrow And then she found him lying slain In the dewy dens of Yarrow She washed his face and she combed his hair She combed it neat and narrow And then she washed that bloody bloody wound That he got in the Yarrow Her hair it was three quarters long The color it was yello She wound it round his waist so small And took him home from Yarrow Oh Mother dear go maken my bedn Go make it neat and narrow My love my love he diedn for me I'll die for him to-morrow Oh daughter dear don't be so grieved So grieved with grief and sorrow I'll wedn you to a better one Than you lost in the Yarrow She dressed herself in clean white clothes And away to the waters of Yarrow And there she laid her own self down And died on the banks of the Yarrow The wine that runs through the water deepn Comes from the sons of Yarrow They all did fightn for their own true loven In the dewy dens of Yarrow Child #214 Max Hunter, Folksongs from the Ozarks, 1963, Folk-Legacy Records. Max Hunter's version of 'The Dewy Dens of Yarrow" was learned from Herbert Philbrick, an old man who lived in Crocker, Missouri, in the summer of 1957. The text actually combines elements of two of the Child ballads: #214 ("The Braes o' Yarrow) and #215 ("Rare Willie Drowned in Yarrow"). Mary Celestia Parler, who wrote the notes that accompany Max's record, notes its textual similarity to the version Herbert Halpert collected from George Edwards in the Catskills, although the tune is quite different. I would urge you to read the extensive introductory note to #214 in Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, which you can probably find in your library. If not, urge your librarian to order it through inter-library loan. Better still, look at the numerous versions with tunes that were gathered by Bertrand Bronson (42 versions of #214 and 9 of #215) and published in Volume 3 of The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads. Child and Bronson demonstrate the historical and geographical range of the ballad(s) much more completely than we can offer here, but both seem to have originated in Scotland, with the earliest text of #215 showing up in Orpheus Caledonius (1733). Bronson also includes a fine version that Mary Parler overlooked (or had no access to) when she wrote the notes for my recording of Max Hunter, namely the fine versio on one of our "custom" cassettes, and comes with the accompanying booklet of no tes and lyrics. SP oct99
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!