The Cruel Brother

No: 11; variant: 11[L]

  1. There were three ladies playing at the ba, With a hey and a lilly gay When the King o Fairies rode by them a’. And the roses they grow sweetlie
  2. The foremost one was clad in blue; He askd at her if she’d be his doo.
  3. The second of them was clad in red; He asked at her if she’d be his bride.
  4. The next of them was clad in green; He askd at her if she’d be his queen.
  5. ‘Go you ask at my father then, And you may ask at my mother then.
  6. ‘You may ask at my sister Ann, And not forget my brother John.’
  7. ‘O I have askd at your father then, And I have askd at your mother then.
  8. ‘And I have askd at your sister Ann, But I’ve quite forgot your brother John.’
  9. Her father led her down the stair, Her mother combd down her yellow hair.
  10. Her sister Ann led her to the cross, And her brother John set her on her horse.
  11. ‘Now you are high and I am low, Give me a kiss before ye go.’
  12. She’s lootit down to gie him a kiss, He gave her a deep wound and didna miss.
  13. And with a penknife as sharp as a dart, And he has stabbit her to the heart.
  14. ‘Ride up, ride up,’ says the foremost man, ‘I think our bride looks pale an wan.’
  15. ‘Ride up, ride up,’ says the middle man, ‘I see her heart’s blude trinkling down.’
  16. ‘Ride on, ride,’ says the Fairy King, ‘She will be dead lang ere we win hame.’
  17. ‘O I wish I was at yonder cross, Where my brother John put me on my horse.
  18. ‘I wish I was at yonder thorn, I wad curse the day that ere I was born.
  19. ‘I wish I was at yon green hill, Then I wad sit and bleed my fill.’
  20. ‘What will you leave your father then?’ ‘The milk-white steed that I ride on.’
  21. ‘What will you leave your mother then?’ ‘My silver Bible and my golden fan.’
  22. ‘What will ye leave your sister Ann?’ ‘My good lord, to be married on.’
  23. ‘What will ye leave your sister Pegg?’ ‘The world wide to go and beg.’
  24. ‘What will you leave your brother John?’ ‘The gallows-tree to hang him on.’
  25. ‘What will you leave your brother’s wife?’ ‘Grief and sorrow to end her life.’