The Twa Sisters
No: 10; variant: 10H
- THERE were three sisters lived in a hall,
Hey with the gay and the grandeur O
And there came a lord to court them all.
At the bonnie bows o London town.
- He courted the eldest with a penknife,
And he vowed that he would take her life.
- He courted the youngest with a glove,
And he said that he’d be her true love.
- ‘O sister, O sister, will you go and take a walk,
And see our father’s ships how they float?
- ‘O lean your foot upon the stone,
And wash your hand in that sea-foam.’
- She leaned her foot upon the stone,
But her eldest sister has tumbled her down.
- ‘O sister, sister, give me your hand,
And I’ll make you lady of all my land.’
- ‘O I’ll not lend to you my hand,
But I’ll be lady of your land.’
- ‘O sister, sister, give me your glove,
And I’ll make you lady of my true love.’
- ‘It’s I’ll not lend to you my glove,
But I’ll be lady of your true love.’
- Sometimes she sank, and sometimes she swam,
Until she came to a miller’s dam.
- The miller’s daughter was coming out wi speed,
For water for to bake some bread.
- ‘O father, father, stop the dam,
For it’s either a lady or a milk-white swan.’
- He dragged her out unto the shore,
And stripped her of all she wore.
- By cam a fiddler, and he was fair,
And he buskit his bow in her bonnie yellow hair.
By cam her father’s harper, and he was fine,
- And he made a harp o her bonny breast-bone.
- When they came to her father’s court,
The harp [and fiddle these words] spoke:
- ‘O God bless my father the king,
And I wish the same to my mother the queen.
- ‘My sister Jane she tumbled me in,
. . . . .