The Cruel Mother

No: 20; variant: 20F

  1. IT fell ance upon a day, Edinburgh, Edinburgh It fell ance upon a day, Stirling for aye It fell ance upon a day The clerk and lady went to play. So proper Saint Johnston stands fair upon Tay
  2. ‘If my baby be a son, I’ll make him a lord of high renown.’
  3. She’s leand her back to the wa, Prayd that her pains might fa.
  4. She’s leand her back to the thorn, There was her baby born.
  5. ‘O bonny baby, if ye suck sair, You’ll never suck by my side mair.’
  6. She’s riven the muslin frae her head, Tied the baby hand and feet.
  7. Out she took her little pen-knife, Twind the young thing o its sweet life.
  8. She’s howked a hole anent the meen, There laid her sweet baby in.
  9. She had her to her father’s ha, She was the meekest maid amang them a’.
  10. It fell ance upon a day, She saw twa babies at their play.
  11. ‘O bonny babies, gin ye were mine, I’d cleathe you in the silks sae fine.’
  12. ‘O wild mother, when we were thine, You cleathd us not in silks so fine.
  13. ‘But now we’re in the heavens high, And you’ve the pains o hell to try.’
  14. She threw hersell oer the castle-wa, There I wat she got a fa.