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Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard

No: 81; variant: 81E

  1. FOUR and twenty gay ladies Were playing at the ba, And [out] came Lord Barnaby’s lady, The fairest o them a’.
  2. She coost her eyes on Little Musgrave, And he on her again; She coost her eyes on Little Musgrave, As they twa lovers had been.
  3. ‘I have a hall in Mulberry, It stands baith strong and tight; If you will go to there with me, I’ll lye with you all night.’
  4. ‘To lye with you, madam,’ he says, ‘Will breed both sturt and strife; I see by the rings on your fingers You are Lord Barnaby’s wife.’
  5. ‘Lord Barnaby’s to the hunting gone, And far out oer the hill, And he will not return again Till the evening tide untill.’
  6. They were not well lain down, Nor yet well fallen asleep, Till up started Lord Barnaby’s boy, Just up at their bed-feet.
  7. She took out a little penknife, Which hung down low by her gair: ‘If you do not my secret keep, A word ye’s neer speak mair.’
  8. The laddie gae a blythe leer look, A blythe leer look gave he, And he’s away to Lord Barnaby, As fast as he can hie.
  9. ‘If these tidings binna true, These tidings ye tell to me, A gallows-tree I’ll gar be made And hanged ye shall be.
  10. ‘But if these tidings are true, These tidings ye tell me, The fairest lady in a’ my court I’ll gar her marry thee.’
  11. He’s taen out a little horn, He blew baith loue and sma, And aye the turning o the tune ‘Away, Musgrave, awa!’
  12. They were not well lain down, Nor yet well fallen asleep, Till up started Lord Barnaby, Just up at their bed-feet.
  13. ‘O how like ye my blankets, Musgrave? And how like ye my sheets? And how like ye my gay lady, So sound in your arms that sleeps?’
  14. ‘Weel I like your blankets, Sir, And far better yere sheets; And better far yere gay lady, So sound in my arms that sleeps.’
  15. ‘Get up, get up, now, Little Musgrave, And draw to hose and sheen; It’s neer be said in my country I’d fight a naked man.
  16. ‘There is two swords into my house, And they cost me right dear; Take you the best, and I the worst, I’ll fight the battle here.’
  17. The first stroke that Lord Barnaby gave, It was baith deep and sore; The next stroke that Lord Barnaby gave, A word he never spoke more.
  18. He’s taen out a rappier then, He’s struck it in the straw, And thro and thro his lady’s sides He gard the cauld steel gae.
  19. ‘I am not sae wae for Little Musgrave, As he lys cauld and dead; But I’m right wae for his lady, For she’ll gae witless wud.
  20. ‘I’m not sae wae for my lady, For she lies cauld and dead; But I’m right wae for my young son, Lies sprawling in her blood.’
  21. First crew the black cock, And next crew the sparrow; And what the better was Lord Barnaby? He was hanged on the morrow.