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The Gay Goshawk

No: 96; variant: 96D

  1. ‘O WHERE’LL I get a pretty little bird That’ll go my errand soon, That will fly to the Queen of England’s dochter, And bid my trew-luve come?’
  2. ‘Here am I, a pretty little bird, That’ll go your errands soon, That will fly to the Queen of England’s daughter, And bid your trew-luve come.’
  3. This wee birdie’s taken its flight, And it’s flown owre the sea, Until it cam to the Queen of England’s daughter; She’s sitting in her bower-windie.
  4. Then out bespoke these nine ladies, As they sat in a ring: ‘O we’ll awa to the west window, To hear this birdie sing.’
  5. This wee birdie’s taken its flight, And it’s flown owre them a’, And at the lady’s left shoulder It loot a letter fa.
  6. She has taken the letter up, And read it speedilie: ‘O mother, the queen, O mother, the queen, Grant this request to me; Whenever I do chance for to die, In Scotland gar bury me.’
  7. ‘Bring to me the red, red lead, And rub it on her chin; It’s Oh and alace for my dochter Janet! But there is not a breath within.
  8. ‘Bring to me the red, red lead, And rub it on her toe; It’s Oh and alace for my daughter Janet! To Scotland she must go.’
  9. ‘Rise up, rise up, ye seven sisters, And make her winding sheet, With the one side of the beaten gold, And the other o the needle-wark.
  10. ‘Rise up, rise up, ye seven brethren, And make her carriage-bier, With the one side of the beaten gold, And the other o the silver clear.’
  11. ‘They’ve carried east, they’ve carried west, They’ve carried her high and low, Until that they came to the king of Scotland, Was sitting in his bower-window.
  12. ‘Here is a token of your trew-love, And here is a token come down, For she is dead, and she’s ready to be buried, And she wants to be laid in your ground.’
  13. He’s taen out his mickle knife, And tore her winding sheet, And there she lay like the crimson red, And she smiled in his face so sweet.
  14. ‘Go home, go home, you seven brethren, Go home and saw your corn, For she if fit for the queen of Scotland now, And she’s gien you the scorn.
  15. ‘Go home, go home, you seven sisters, Go home and sew your seam, For she is fit for the queen of Scotland now, And she’s ready to be my queen.’