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The Twa Sisters

No: 10; variant: 10O

  1. THERE were twa sisters in a bower, Hey wi the gay and the grinding And ae king’s son has courted them baith. At the bonny bonny bows o London
  2. He courted the youngest wi broach and ring, He courted the eldest wi some other thing.
  3. It fell ance upon a day The eldest to the youngest did say,
  4. ‘Will ye gae to yon Tweed mill-dam, And see our father’s ships come to land?’
  5. They baith stood up upon a stane, The eldest dang the youngest in.
  6. She swimmed up, sae did she down, Till she came to the Tweed mill-dam.
  7. The miller’s servant he came out, And saw the lady floating about.
  8. ‘O master, master, set your mill, There is a fish, or a milk-white swan.’
  9. They could not ken her yellow hair, [For] the scales o gowd that were laid there.
  10. They could not ken her fingers sae white, The rings o gowd they were sae bright.
  11. They could not ken her middle sae jimp, The stays o gowd were so well laced.
  12. They could not ken her foot sae fair, The shoes o gowd they were so rare.
  13. Her father’s fiddler he came by, Upstarted her ghaist before his eye.
  14. ‘Ye’ll take a lock o my yellow hair, Ye’ll make a string to your fiddle there.
  15. ‘Ye’ll take a lith o my little finger bane, And ye’ll make a pin to your fiddle then.’
  16. He’s taen a lock o her yellow hair, And made a string to his fiddle there.
  17. He’s taen a lith o her little finger bane, And he’s made a pin to his fiddle then.
  18. The firstand spring the fiddle did play, Said, ‘Ye’ll drown my sister, as she’s dune me.’