The Twa Sisters
No: 10; variant: 10P
- THERE were twa ladies in a bower,
Hey my bonnie Nannie O
The old was black and the young ane fair.
And the swan swims bonnie O
- Once it happened on a day
The auld ane to the young did say,
- The auld ane to the young did say,
‘Will you gae to the green and play?’
- ‘O sister, sister, I daurna gang,
For fear I file my silver shoon.’
- It was not to the green they gaed,
But it was to the water of Tweed.
- She bowed her back and she’s taen her on,
And she’s tumbled her in Tweed mill-dam.
- ‘O sister, O sister, O tak my hand,
And I’ll mak you heir of a’ my land.’
- ‘O sister, O sister, I’ll no take your hand,
And I’ll be heir of a’ your land.’
- ‘O sister, O sister, O tak my thumb,
And I’ll give you my true-love John.’
- ‘O sister, O sister, I’ll no tak your thumb,
And I will get your true-love John.’
- Aye she swattered and aye she swam,
Until she came to the mouth of the dam.
- The miller’s daughter went out to Tweed,
To get some water to bake her bread.
- In again she quickly ran:
‘Here’s a lady or a swan in our mill-dam.’
- Out went the miller and his man
And took the lady out of the dam.
- They laid her on the brae to dry;
Her father’s fiddler then rode by.
- When he this lady did come near,
Her ghost to him then did appear.
- ‘When you go to my father the king,
You’ll tell him to burn my sister Jean.
- ‘When you go to my father’s gate,
You’ll play a spring for fair Ellen’s sake.
- ‘You’ll tak three links of my yellow hair,
And play a spring for evermair.’