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The Twa Brothers

No: 49; variant: 49A

  1. THERE were twa brethren in the north, They went to the school thegither; The one unto the other said, Will you try a warsle afore?
  2. They warsled up, they warsled down, Till Sir John fell to the ground, And there was a knife in Sir Willie’s pouch, Gied him a deadlie wound.
  3. ‘Oh brither dear, take me on your back, Carry me to yon burn clear, And wash the blood from off my wound, And it will bleed nae mair.’
  4. He took him up upon his back, Carried him to yon burn clear, And washd the blood from off his wound, But aye it bled the mair.
  5. ‘Oh brither dear, take me on your back, Carry me to yon kirk-yard, And dig a grave baith wide and deep, And lay my body there.’
  6. He’s taen him up upon his back, Carried him to yon kirk-yard, And dug a grave baith deep and wide, And laid his body there.
  7. ‘But what will I say to my father dear, Gin he chance to say, Willie, whar’s John?’ ‘Oh say that he’s to England gone, To buy him a cask of wine.’
  8. ‘And what will I say to my mother dear, Gin she chance to say, Willie, whar’s John?’ ‘Oh say that he’s to England gone, To buy her a new silk gown.’
  9. ‘And what will I say to my sister dear, Gin she chance to say, Willie, whar’s John?’ ‘Oh say that he’s to England gone, To buy her a wedding ring.’
  10. ‘But what will I say to her you loe dear, Gin she cry, Why tarries my John?’ ‘Oh tell her I lie in Kirk-land fair, And home again will never come.’