In which a talking bird reveals a dreadful murder.
The text Child Ballad 68G, set to the tune collected from Mrs G A Griffin of Newberry, Florida by Alton C Morris in 1950.
SHE has called to her bower-maidens, She has called them one by one:
“There is a dead man in my bower, I would that he was gone, gone
I would that he was gone”
They have booted him, and spurred him, As he was wont to ride,
A hunting-horn about his waist, A sharp sword by his side, side
A sharp sword by his side.
Then up and spake a bonnie bird, that sat upon the tree:
‘What have you done with Earl Richard? You was his gay lady
You was his gay lady”
And she swore by the grass so green, so did she by the corn,
That she had not seen Earl Richard Since yesterday at morn, morn.
Since yesterday at morn.
‘Come down, come down, my bonnie bird, and sit upon my hand;
And you shall have a cage of gold, Where you have but the wand, wand
Where you have but the wand”
‘Away, away, ye ill woman, No ill woman for me;
What you have done to Earl Richard, So would you do to me, me
So would you do to me”
And she swore by the grass so green.....
“There is a bird intill your bower that sings so sad and sweet;
There is a bird intill your bower, kept me from my night’s sleep, sleep
Kept me from my night’s sleep”
‘Go bend to me my bow,’ she said, ‘And set it to my e'e,
And I will make that bonnie bird Come quickly down to me, me
Come quickly down to me”
‘Before thou bend thy bow, lady, And set it to thy e'e,
O I will be at yon far court, Telling ill tales on thee, thee
Telling ill tales on thee”
And she swore by the grass so green... x2
from Fishe or Fowle
released January 5, 2017
Words & Music: Trad, arr K Fletcher & C Broch
all rights reserved