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The Death of Parcy Reed

No: 193; variant: 193A

  1. THE Liddesdale Crosiers hae ridden a race, And they had far better staid at hame, For they have lost a gallant gay, Young Whinton Crosier it was his name.
  2. For Parcy Reed he has him taen, And he’s delivered him to law, But auld Crosier has made answer That he’ll gar the house of the Troughend fa.
  3. So as it happened on a day That Parcy Reed is a hunting gane, And the three false Halls of Girsonsfield They all along with him are gane.
  4. They hunted up and they hunted down, They hunted all Reedwater round, Till weariness has on him siezed; At the Batinghope he’s fallen asleep.
  5. O some they stole his powder-horn, And some put water in his lang gun: ‘O waken, waken, Parcy Reed! For we do doubt thou sleeps too sound.
  6. ‘O waken, O waken, Parcy Reed! For we do doubt thou sleeps too long; For yonder’s the five Crosiers coming, They’re coming by the Hingin Stane.
  7. ‘If they be five men, we are four, If ye will all stand true to me; Now every one of you may take one, And two of them ye may leave to me.’
  8. ‘We will not stay, nor we dare not stay, O Parcy Reed, for to fight with thee; For thou wilt find, O Parcy Reed, That they will slay both us and thee.’
  9. ‘O stay, O stay, O Tommy Hall, O stay, O man, and fight with me! If we see the Troughend again, My good black mare I will give thee.’
  10. ‘I will not stay, nor I dare not stay, O Parcy Reed, to fight for thee; For thou wilt find, O Parcy Reed, That they will slay both me and thee.’
  11. ‘O stay, O stay, O Johnnie Hall, O stay, O man, and fight for me! If I see the Troughend again, Five yoke of oxen I will give thee.’
  12. ‘I will not stay, nor I dare not stay, O Parcy Reed, for to fight with thee; For thou wilt find, O Parcy Reed, That they will slay both me and thee.’
  13. ‘O stay, O stay, O Willie Hall, O stay, O man, and fight for me! If we see the Troughend again, The half of my land I will give thee.’
  14. ‘I will not stay, nor I dare not stay, O Parcy Reed, for to fight with thee; For thou wilt find, O Parcy Reed, That they will slay both me and thee.’
  15. ‘Now foul fa ye, ye traitors all, That ever ye should in England won! You have left me in a fair field standin, And in my hand an uncharged gun.
  16. ‘O fare thee well, my wedded wife! O fare you well, my children five! And fare thee well, my daughter Jane, That I love best that’s born alive!
  17. ‘O fare thee well, my brother Tom! And fare you well his children five! If you had been with me this day, I surely had been man alive.
  18. ‘Farewell all friends! as for my foes, To distant lands may they be tane, And the three false Halls of Girsonsfield, They’ll never be trusted nor trowed again.’