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Fair Annie

No: 62; variant: 62B

Source: Jamieson's Popular Ballads, II, 376, from the recitation of Mrs Arrot, of Aberbrothick.

  1. There livd a lord on yon sea-side, And he thought on a wile, How he would go over the saut sea A lady to beguile.
  2. ‘O learn to mak your bed, Helen, And learn to ly your lane, For I’m gaun over the saut seas A bright bride to bring hame.’
  3. ‘How can I mak my bed,’ she says, ‘Unless I mak it wide, Whan I have seven o your sons To lie down by my side?
  4. ‘And the first o your seven sons, He rides a milk-white steed; The second o your seven sons He wears a milk-white weed.
  5. ‘The third ane o your seven sons, He draws baith ale and wine; The fourth ane o your seven sons, He serves you when you dine.
  6. ‘The fifth ane o your seven sons, He can baith read and write; And the sixth ane o your seven sons, He is a’ your heart’s delight.
  7. ‘And the youngest o your seven sons, He sleeps on my breast-bane; Whan him and I ly down at night, For him rest get I nane.’
  8. ‘O wha will bake my bridal bread, And brew my bridal ale? And wha will welcome my gae lady, That I bring oer the dale?
  9. ‘And sin ye’ve taen the turn in hand, See that ye do it right, And ilka chimly o the house, That they be dearly dight.’
  10. O a’ the day she washd and wrang, And a’ the night she buik, And she’s awa to her chamber, To gie her young son suck.
  11. ‘Come here, come here, my eldest son, And see what ye may see; For yonder comes your father dear, Your mother-in-law side be.’
  12. She’s taen a cake o the best bread, A bottle o the best wine, And a’ the keys upon her arm, And to the yates she’s gaen.
  13. ‘Ye are welcome hame, gay lady,’ she said, ‘And ay ye are welcome hame; And sae is a’ the gentlewomen That’s wi you ridden and gane.
  14. ‘You are welcome hame, gay lord’ she said, ‘And ay ye are welcome hame; And sae is a’ the gentlemen That’s wi you ridden and gane.’
  15. She saird them up, she saird them down, She saird them till and frae; But when she went behind their backs, The tear did blind her ee.
  16. Whan day was gane, and night was come, And a’ man boun to bed, The bridegroom and the bonny bride In their chamber was laid.
  17. Burd Helen and her seven sons Lay in a bower near by; . . . . . . . . . .
  18. ‘If my seven sons were seven grey ratts, To rin frae wa to wa, And I mysel a good grey cat, I would bite their back a-twa.
  19. ‘If my seven sons were seven grey hares, And them to rin a race, And I mysel a good greyhound, I would gie them a chace.’
  20. Up and spak the bonny bride, In chamber where she lay: ‘There is a lady in this bower, She will gae mad or day.’
  21. ‘Lye still, lye still, my bonny bride, Lye still and tak a sleep; It’s but ane o my wine puncheons; Nae langer wad it keep.’
  22. ‘King Henry was my father dear, Queen Catherine was my mother, Lady Anne she was my sister dear, And Frederick was my brother.
  23. ‘And whan I was six years of age, They ca’d me Mary Mild; I was stown frae my father’s yate, Whan I was but a child.’
  24. Then up and spak the bonny bride, By her lord as she lay: ‘Lye down, lye down, my dear sister, There’s nae ill done for me.
  25. ‘O seven ships conveyd me here, And seven came oer the main; And four o them shall stay wi you, And three convey me hame.
  26. ‘But when I gae hame to my father’s house, They will laugh me to scorn, To come awa a wedded wife, Gae hame a maid the morn.’