The Cruel Mother

No: 20; variant: 20J

  1. SHE leant her back against a thorn, Hey for the Rose o’ Malindie O And there she has twa bonnie babes born. Adoon by the green wood sidie O
  2. She’s taen the ribbon frae her head, An hankit their necks till they waur dead.
  3. She luikit outowre her castle wa, An saw twa nakit boys, playin at the ba.
  4. ‘O bonnie boys, waur ye but mine, I wald feed ye wi flour-bread an wine.’
  5. ‘O fause mother, whan we waur thine, Ye didna feed us wi flour-bread an wine.’
  6. ‘O bonnie boys, gif ye waur mine, I wald clied ye wi silk sae fine.’
  7. ‘O fause mother, whan we waur thine, You didna clied us in silk sae fine.
  8. ‘Ye tuik the ribbon aff your head, An’ hankit our necks till we waur dead.
  9. ‘Ye sall be seven years bird on the tree, Ye sall be seven years fish i the sea.
  10. ‘Ye sall be seven years eel i the pule, An ye sall be seven years doon into hell.’
  11. ‘Welcome, welcome, bird on the tree, Welcome, welcome, fish i the sea.
  12. ‘Welcome, welcome, eel i the pule, But oh for gudesake, keep me frae hell!’