The Cruel Mother
No: 20; variant: 20C
- SHE leaned her back unto a thorn,
Three, three, and three by three
And there she has her two babes born.
Three, three, and thirty-three
- She took frae ‘bout her ribbon-belt,
And there she bound them hand and foot.
- She has taen out her wee pen-knife,
And there she ended baith their life.
- She has howked a hole baith deep and wide,
She has put them in baith side by side.
- She has covered them oer wi a marble stane,
Thinking she would gang maiden hame.
- As she was walking by her father’s castle wa,
She saw twa pretty babes playing at the ba.
- ‘O bonnie babes, gin ye were mine,
I would dress you up in satin fine.
- ‘O I would dress you in the silk,
And wash you ay in morning milk.’
- ‘O cruel mother, we were thine,
And thou made us to wear the twine.
- ‘O cursed mother, heaven’s high,
And that’s where thou will neer win nigh.
- ‘O cursed mother, hell is deep,
And there thou’ll enter step by step.’