PR Website

Fair Janet

No: 64; variant: 64A

  1. ‘YE maun gang to your father, Janet, Ye maun gang to him soon; Ye maun gang to your father, Janet, In case that his days are dune.’
  2. Janet’s awa to her father, As fast as she could hie: ‘O what’s your will wi me, father? O what’s your will wi me?’
  3. ‘My will wi you, Fair Janet,’ he said, ‘It is both bed and board; Some say that he loe Sweet Willie, But ye maun wed a French lord.’
  4. ‘A French lord maun I wed, father? A French lord maun I wed? Then, by my sooth,’ quo Fair Janet, ‘He’s neer enter my bed.’
  5. Janet’s awa to her chamber, As fast as she could go; Wha’s the first ane that tapped there, But Sweet Willie her jo?
  6. ‘O we maun part this love, Willie, That has been lang between; There’s a French lord coming oer the sea, To wed me wi a ring; There’s a French lord coming oer the sea, To wed and tak me hame.’
  7. ‘If we maun part this love, Janet, It causeth mickle woe; If we maun part this love, Janet, It makes me into mourning go.’
  8. ‘But ye maun gang to your three sisters, Meg, Marion, and Jean; Tell them to come to Fair Janet, In case that her days are dune.’
  9. Willie’s awa to his three sisters, Meg, Marion, and Jean: ‘O haste, and gang to Fair Janet, I fear that her days are dune.’
  10. Some drew to them their silken hose, Some drew to them their shoon, Some drew to them their silk manteils, Their covering to put on, And they’re awa to Fair Janet, By the hie light o the moon.
  11. ‘O I have born this babe, Willie, Wi mickle toil and pain; Take hame, take hame, your babe, Willie, For nurse I dare be nane.’
  12. He’s tane his young son in his arms, And kisst him cheek and chin, And he’s awa to his mother’s bower, By the hie light o the moon.
  13. ‘O open, open, mother,’ he says, ‘O open, and let me in; The rain rains on my yellow hair, And the dew drops oer my chin, And I hae my young son in my arms, I fear that his days are dune.’
  14. With her fingers lang and sma She lifted up the pin, And with her arms lang and sma Received the baby in.
  15. ‘Gae back, gae back now, Sweet Willie, And comfort your fair lady; For where ye had but ae nourice, Your young son shall hae three.’
  16. Willie he was scarce awa, And the lady put to bed, Whan in and came her father dear: ‘Make haste, and busk the bride.’
  17. ‘There’s a sair pain in my head, father, There’s a sair pain in my side; And ill, O ill, am I, father, This day for to be a bride.’
  18. ‘O ye maun busk this bonny bride, And put a gay mantle on; For she shall wed this auld French lord, Gin she should die the morn.’
  19. Some put on the gay green robes, And some put on the brown; But Janet put on the scarlet robes, To shine foremost throw the town.
  20. And some they mounted the black steed, And some mounted the brown; But Janet mounted the milk-white steed, To ride foremost throw the town.
  21. ‘O wha will guide your horse, Janet? O wha will guide him best?’ ‘O wha but Willie, my true-love? He kens I loe him best.’
  22. And when they cam to Marie’s kirk, To tye the haly ban, Fair Janet’s cheek looked pale and wan, And her colour gaed an cam.
  23. When dinner it was past and done, And dancing to begin, ‘O we’ll go take the bride’s maidens, And we’ll go fill the ring.’
  24. O ben than cam the auld French lord, Saying, Bride, will ye dance with me? ‘Awa, awa, ye auld French lord, Your face I downa see.’
  25. O ben than cam now Sweet Willie, He cam with ane advance: ‘O I’ll go tak the bride’s maidens, And we’ll go tak a dance.’
  26. ‘I’ve seen ither days wi you, Willie, And so has mony mae, Ye would hae danced wi me mysel, Let a’ my maidens gae.’
  27. O ben than cam now Sweet Willie, Saying, Bride, will ye dance wi me? ‘Aye, by my sooth, and that I will, Gin my back should break in three.’
  28. She had nae turned her throw the dance, Throw the dance but thrice, When she fell doun at Willie’s feet, And up did never rise.
  29. Willie’s taen the key of his coffer, And gien it to his man: ‘Gae hame, and tell my mother dear My horse he has me slain; Bid her be kind to my young son, For father he has nane.’
  30. The tane was buried in Marie’s kirk, And the tither in Marie’s quire; Out of the tane there grew a birk, And the tither a bonny brier.