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The Fair Flower of Northumberland

No: 9; variant: 9C

  1. AS I went by a jail-house door, Maid’s love whiles is easy won I saw a prisoner standing there, ‘I wish I were home in fair Scotland.
  2. ‘Fair maid, will you pity me? Ye’ll steal the keys, let me gae free: I’ll make you my lady in fair Scotland.
  3. ‘I’m sure you have no need of me, For ye have a wife and bairns three, That lives at home in fair Scotland.’
  4. He swore by him that was crownd with thorn, That he never had a wife since the day he was born, But livd a free lord in fair Scotland.
  5. She went unto her father’s bed-head, She’s stown the key o mony a lock, She’s let him out o prison strong.
  6. She’s went to her father’s stable, She’s stown a steed baith wight and able, To carry them on to fair Scotland.
  7. They rode till they came to a muir, He bade her light aff, they’d call her a whore, If she didna return to Northumberland.
  8. They rode till they came to a moss, He bade her light aff her father’s best horse, And return her again to Northumberland.
  9. ‘I’m sure I have no need of thee, When I have a wife and bairns three, That lives at home in fair Scotland.’
  10. ‘I’ll be cook in your kitchen, And serve your lady handsomelie, For I darena gae back to Northumberland.’
  11. ‘Ye cannot be cook in my kitchen, My lady cannot fa sic servants as thee, So ye’ll return again to Northumberland.’
  12. When she went thro her father’s ha, She looted her low amongst them a’, She was the fair flower o Northumberland.
  13. Out spake her father, he spake bold, ‘How could ye be a whore in fifteen years old, And you the flower of Northumberland?’
  14. Out spake her mother, she spake wi a smile, ‘She’s nae the first his coat did beguile, Ye’re welcome again to Northumberland.’