The Cruel Mother
No: 20; variant: 20[Q]
- There was a lady, a lady of York,
Ri fol i diddle i gee wo
She fell a-courting in her own father’s park.
Down by the greenwood side, O
- She leaned her back against the stile,
There she had two pretty babes born.
- And she had nothing to lap ‘em in,
But she had a penknife sharp and keen.
- . . . . . . . . .
There she stabbed them right through the heart.
- She wiped the penknife in the sludge;
The more she wiped it, the more the blood showed.
- As she was walking in her own father’s park,
She saw two pretty babes playing with a ball.
- ‘Pretty babes, pretty babes, if you were mine,
I’d dress you up in silks so fine.’
- ‘Dear mother, dear mother, [when we were thine,]
You dressed us not in silks so fine.
- ‘Here we go to the heavens so high,
You’ll go to bad when you do die.’