The Twa Sisters

No: 10; variant: 10H

  1. THERE were three sisters lived in a hall, Hey with the gay and the grandeur O And there came a lord to court them all. At the bonnie bows o London town.
  2. He courted the eldest with a penknife, And he vowed that he would take her life.
  3. He courted the youngest with a glove, And he said that he’d be her true love.
  4. ‘O sister, O sister, will you go and take a walk, And see our father’s ships how they float?
  5. ‘O lean your foot upon the stone, And wash your hand in that sea-foam.’
  6. She leaned her foot upon the stone, But her eldest sister has tumbled her down.
  7. ‘O sister, sister, give me your hand, And I’ll make you lady of all my land.’
  8. ‘O I’ll not lend to you my hand, But I’ll be lady of your land.’
  9. ‘O sister, sister, give me your glove, And I’ll make you lady of my true love.’
  10. ‘It’s I’ll not lend to you my glove, But I’ll be lady of your true love.’
  11. Sometimes she sank, and sometimes she swam, Until she came to a miller’s dam.
  12. The miller’s daughter was coming out wi speed, For water for to bake some bread.
  13. ‘O father, father, stop the dam, For it’s either a lady or a milk-white swan.’
  14. He dragged her out unto the shore, And stripped her of all she wore.
  15. By cam a fiddler, and he was fair, And he buskit his bow in her bonnie yellow hair. By cam her father’s harper, and he was fine,
  16. And he made a harp o her bonny breast-bone.
  17. When they came to her father’s court, The harp [and fiddle these words] spoke:
  18. ‘O God bless my father the king, And I wish the same to my mother the queen.
  19. ‘My sister Jane she tumbled me in, . . . . .