Fair Janet

No: 64; variant: 64B

  1. ‘IF you do love me weel, Willie, Ye’ll shew to me truelie; Ye’ll build to me a bonnie ship, And set her on the sea.’
  2. He did love her very weel, He shewed to her trulie; He builded her a bonnie ship, And set her on the sea.
  3. They had not sailed one league, one league, One league but only three, Till sharp, sharp showers fair Janet took, She grew sick and like to die.
  4. ‘If you do love me weel, Willie, Ye’ll shew to me trulye; Ye’ll tak me to my mother’s bower, Whare I was wont to be.’
  5. He did love her very weel, He shewed to her trulye; He took her to her mother’s bower, Whare she was wont to be.
  6. ‘It’s ye’ll stand up at my richt side, You will on tiptaes stand, Until you hear your auld son weep, But an you Janet mourn.
  7. ‘Come take your auld son in your arms, He is both large and lang; Come take your auld son in your arms, And for a nourice gang.’
  8. He is to his mother’s bowers, An hour or it struck nine: ‘I have a babe into my arms, He’ll die nor nouricing.’
  9. ‘Goe home, go home, my son,’ she says, ‘And mak thy Jenny blythe; If ae nurse winna sere her son, It’s I’ll provide him five.’
  10. Fair Janet was nae weel lichter, Nor weel doun on her side, Till ben and cam her father dear, Saying, Wha will busk our bride?
  11. Ben and cam her brethren dear, Saying, Wha will busk our bride? And wha will saddle our bride’s horse? Whom ahint will she ride?
  12. ‘Hold your tongue, my brethren dear, And let your folly be, For I’m sae fair and full of hair Sma busking will serve me.
  13. ‘Hold your tongue, my brethren dear, And let your folly be, For I will ride behint William, He will best wait on me.
  14. ‘Willie, lay the saddle saft, And lead the bridle soun, And when we come to Mary’s Kirk, Ye’ll set me hooly down.’
  15. Supper scarslie was owre, Nor musick weel fa’n to, Till ben and cam the bride’s brethren, Saying, Bride, ye’ll dance wi me: ‘Awa, awa, my brethren dear, For dancing’s no for me.’
  16. Ben and came her ain bridegroom, Saying, Bride, ye’ll dance wi me; She says, Awa, awa, ye southland dog, Your face I downa see.
  17. Ben and cam then Sweet Willie, Saying, Bride, ye’ll dance wi me: ‘Oh I will dance the floor once owre, Tho my heart should break in three.’
  18. ‘Oh no, oh no,’ said Sweet William, ‘Let no such things eer be; But I will cut my glove in two, And I’ll dance for thee and me.’
  19. She hadna danced the floor once owre, I’m sure she hadna thrice, Till she fell in a deadly swound, And from it neer did rise.
  20. Out and spak her ain bridegroom, And an angry man was he: ‘This day she has gien me the gecks, Yet she must bear the scorn; There’s not a bell in merry Linkum Shall ring for her the morn.’
  21. Out and spoke then Sweet William, And a sorry man was he: ‘Altho she has gien you the gecks, She will not bear the scorn; There’s not a bell in merry Linkum But shall ring for her the morn.’
  22. There was not a bell in merry Linkum But they tinkled and they rang, And a’ the birds that flew above, They changed their notes and sang.