The Cruel Brother

No: 11; variant: 11[M]

  1. There was three ladies playing at the ba, With a hay and a lilly gay A gentleman cam amang them a’. And the roses grow sweet aye
  2. The first of them was clad in yellow, And he askd at her gin she’d be his marrow.
  3. The next o them was clad in green; He askd at her gin she’d be his queen.
  4. The last o them [was] clad in red; He askd at her gin she’d be his bride.
  5. ‘Have ye asked at my father dear? Or have ye asked my mother dear?
  6. ‘Have ye asked my sister Ann? Or have ye asked my brother John?’
  7. ‘I have asked yer father dear, And I have asked yer mother dear.
  8. ‘I have asked yer sister Ann, But I’ve quite forgot your brother John.’
  9. Her father dear led her thro them a’, Her mother dear led her thro the ha.
  10. Her sister Ann led her thro the closs, And her brother John stabbed her on her horse.
  11. ‘Ride up, ride up,’ says the foremost man, ‘I think our bride looks pale and wan.’
  12. ‘Ride up,’ cries the bonny bridegroom, ‘I think the bride be bleeding.’
  13. ‘This is the bludy month of May, Me and my horse bleeds night and day.
  14. ‘O an I were at yon green hill, I wad ly down and bleed a while.
  15. ‘O gin I was at yon red cross, I wad light down and corn my horse.
  16. ‘O an I were at yon kirk-style, I wad lye down and soon be weel.’
  17. When she cam to yon green hill, Then she lay down and bled a while.
  18. And when she cam to yon red cross, Then she lighted and corned her horse.
  19. ‘What will ye leave your father dear?’ ‘My milk-white steed, which cost me dear.’
  20. ‘What will ye leave your mother dear?’ ‘The bludy clothes that I do wear.’
  21. ‘What will ye leave your sister Ann?’ ‘My silver bridle and my golden fan.’
  22. ‘What will ye leave your brother John?’ ‘The gallows-tree to hang him on.’
  23. ‘What will ye leave to your sister Pegg?’ ‘The wide world for to go and beg.’
  24. When she came to yon kirk-style, Then she lay down, and soon was weel.