The Cruel Mother

No: 20; variant: 20D

  1. THERE lies a lady in London, All alone and alone ee She’s gane wi bairn to the clerk’s son. Down by the green wood sae bonnie
  2. She’s taen her mantle her about, She’s gane aff to the gude green wood.
  3. She’s set her back untill an oak, First it bowed and then it broke.
  4. She’s set her back untill a tree, Bonny were the twa boys she did bear.
  5. But she took out a little pen-knife, And she parted them and their sweet life.
  6. She’s aff untill her father’s ha; She was the lealest maiden that was amang them a’.
  7. As she lookit oure the castle wa, She spied twa bonnie boys playing at the ba.
  8. ‘O if these two babes were mine, They should wear the silk and the sabelline!’
  9. ‘O mother dear, when we were thine, We neither wore the silks nor the sabelline.
  10. ‘But out ye took a little pen-knife, And ye parted us and our sweet life.
  11. ‘But now we’re in the heavens hie, And ye’ve the pains o hell to drie.’