Fair Annie

No: 62; variant: 62I

Source: Kinloch MSS, I, 155, May, 1827. "Composed of three recited versions obtained in the west of Scotland."

  1. ‘Learn to mak your bed, Annie, And learn to lie your lane; For I am gaing oure the saut seas, A brisk bride to bring hame.
  2. ‘Wi her I will get gowd and gear; Wi thee I neer gat nane; I got thee as a waif woman, I’ll leave thee as the same.
  3. ‘O wha will bake my bridal bread, Or brew my bridal ale? Or wha welcome my brisk bride, That I’ll bring oure the dale?’
  4. ‘O I will bake your bridal bread, And brew your bridal ale; But I downa welcam your brisk bride That ye’ll bring frae the dale.’
  5. ‘She that welcomes my brisk bride, She maun took maiden-like; She maun kaim doun her yellow locks, And lay them in her neck.’
  6. ‘O how can I look maiden-like, When maiden I am nane? For seven sons I hae born to thee, And the eighth lies in my wame.
  7. ‘But what aileth thee at me, my lord, What aileth thee at me, Whan seven braw sons I’ve born to thee, Out of my fair bodie?
  8. ‘The first ane of your sons, my lord, Can baith read and write; And the second of your sons, my lord, Can do it maist perfyte.
  9. ‘The third ane o your sons, my lord, Can water your grey steed; And the fourth ane o your sons, my lord, Can bake your bridal bread.
  10. ‘The fifth ane o your sons, my lord, Can serve ye whan ye dine; And the sixth ane o your sons, my lord, Can brew your bridal wine.
  11. ‘The seventh ane o your sons, my lord, Lies close at my breist-bane; Whan a’ the lave are fast asleep, It’s rest I can get nane.’
  12. He set his foot into the stirrup, His hand upon the mane; Says, It will be year and day, ladie, Ere ye see me again.
  13. Whan he had ae foot on the sea, The ither on dry lan, ‘It will be year and day, ladie, Till I come back again.’
  14. Whan year and day war past and gane, Fair Annie she thought lang; And she went up to her hie tower, Wi a silk seam in her hand.
  15. She lookit east, she lookit west, And south, below the sun, And there she spied her ain gude lord, Coming sailing to the lan.
  16. She called up her seven braw sons, By ane, twa, and by three: ‘See, yonder comes your father, And your mother-for-to-be.’
  17. And she called up her servants a’: ‘O come, behold and see’ O yonder comes your master dear, And a new mistress brings he.
  18. ‘Gae doun, gae doun, my eldest son, Into the outmost ha, And if ye welcome ane o them, Be sure to welcome a’.’
  19. Some ran east, and some ran west, And some ran to the sea; There was na ane in a’ his house To welcome his new ladie.
  20. But Annie’s to her coffer gane, Tane out a silver kaim, And she’s kaimd doun her yellow hair, As she a maid had been.
  21. And Annie has kaimd her lang yellow locks, And laid them in her neck; And she’s awa to the saut, saut sea, To welcome his lady aff deck.
  22. She durst na ca him her ain gude lord, For angering o the bride; But she did ca him master dear, And I wat he was richt glad.
  23. ‘You’re welcome, you’re welcome, master,’ she said, ‘To your halls bot an your bouers; And sae are a’ thir merry young men That come alang with you.
  24. ‘You’re welcome, you’re welcome, fair ladie, To your halls but an your bouers; And sae are a’ thir gay ladies; For a’ that’s here is yours.’
  25. ‘I thank ye, I thank ye, fair maiden, I thank ye kindlie; If I be lang about this house, Rewarded ye sall be.
  26. ‘I have a brither o mine ain; He’s newly come from sea; I think it wad be a richt gude match To marry him and thee.’
  27. ‘I thank ye, I thank ye, fair ladie; Gie your brither to whom like ye; But there’s never ane in this warld My wedding day sall see: But one word o my master dear In private wad I be.’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ ‘’
  28. The first dish that fair Annie set doun, She lookit baith pale and wan; The neist dish that fair Annie set doun, She was scarce able to stan.
  29. ‘O is this your mistress, good lord,’ she says, ‘Although she looks modest and mild? Then we will hunt her frae our house Wi dogs and hawks sae wild.’
  30. ‘She’s na my mistress, dear lady,’ he says, ‘Altho she looks modest and mild; Nor will we hunt her frae our house Wi dogs and hawks sae wild.’
  31. Whan bells war rung, and mass was sung, And a’ men boun for bed, The bonnie bride and the bridegroom In bride’s bed they were laid.
  32. Whan dinner was past, and supper was by, And a’ were boun for bed, Fair Annie and her seven sons In a puir bye-chamber war laid.
  33. Fair Annie took out her virginals, And sadly did she play; . . . . . . . . . .
  34. ‘O gin my sons were yon grey rats, That climb the castle-wa, And I mysel a bloody grey cat, I’d rise and worry them a’.’
  35. Then out and spak the bonny bride, In bride’s bed whare she lay: ‘I think this is like my sister Anne, That doth sae sadly play.’
  36. ‘Lie still, lie still, my gay ladie, Lie still and sleep a wee; It’s nathing but an auld servant, That waileth sae for me.’
  37. ‘O gin my seven sons were seven young hares, That rin round the castle wa, And I mysel a bluidy grewhund, I wad rise and worry them a’.’
  38. The new bride waukenit in the nicht, And blew upon her horn: ‘I think I hear my sister’s voice, That was stown frae us a bairn.’
  39. ‘Sleep on, sleep on, dear lady,’ he says, ‘It’s yon maiden in her dream, . . . . . . . . . . . .
  40. ‘O wha was eer thy father, fair maid, Or wha was eer thy mither? Or wha was eer thy ae sister, Or wha was eer thy brither?’
  41. ‘King Henry was my father,’ she said, ‘Queen Elinore was my mither; Fair Marion was my ae sister, Earl Robert was my brither.’
  42. ‘Sin King Henry was your father, fair maid, And Queen Elinore your mither, O I am een your ae sister, And ye are just the ither.
  43. ‘Come to your bed, fair Annie,’ she said, ‘Come to your bed full sune; I may weel say, I daur weel say, There is na evil dune.
  44. ‘Seven ships of gold did bring me here, But ane shall tak me hame; Six I will leave to my sister Anne, To bring up her children young.
  45. ‘But whan I gang to my father’s ha, And tirl on the pin, The meanest in a’ my father’s house Will ca me a forsaken ane.’