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Mary Hamilton

No: 173; variant: 173[T]

  1. There was a duke, and he dwelt in York, And he had daughters three; One of them was an hostler-wife, And two were gay ladies.
  2. O word’s gane to Queen Mary’s court, As fast as it coud gee, That Mary Hamilton’s born a bairn, And the baby they coud na see.
  3. Then came the queen and a’ her maids, Swift tripping down the stair: ‘Where is the baby, Mary, That we heard weep sae sair?’
  4. ‘O say not so, Queen Mary, Nor bear ill tales o me, For this is but a sore sickness That oft times troubles me.’
  5. They sought it up, they sought it down, They sought it below the bed, And there the[y] saw the bonny wee babe, Lying wallowing in its bluid.
  6. ‘Now busk ye, busk ye, Mary Hamilton, Busk ye and gang wi me, For I maun away to Edinbro town, A rich wedding to see.’
  7. Mary wad na put on the black velvet, Nor yet wad put on the brown, But she’s put on the red velvet, To shine thro Edinbro town.
  8. When she came unto the town, And near the Tolbooth stair, There stood many a lady gay, Weeping for Mary fair.
  9. ‘O haud yeer tongue[s], ye ladys a’, And weep na mair for me! O haud yeer tongues, ye ladys a’, For it’s for my fault I dee.
  10. ‘The king he took me on his knee And he gae three drinks to me, And a’ to put the babie back, But it wad na gang back for me.
  11. ‘O ye mariners, ye mariners a’, That sail out-owr the sea, Let neither my father nor mother get wit What has become o me!
  12. ‘Let neither my father nor mother ken, Nor my bauld brethren three, For muckle wad be the gude red bluid That wad be shed for me.
  13. ‘Aft hae I laced Queen Mary’s back, Aft hae I kaimed her hair, And a’ the reward she’s gein to me ‘s The gallows to be my heir.
  14. ‘Yestreen the queen had four Marys, The night she’l hae but three; There was Mary Seatoun, and Mary Beatoun, An Mary Carmichal, an me.’