Fair Janet

No: 64; variant: 64D

  1. ‘IT never was my mother’s fashion, As little will’t be mine, For to hae gay lords within my room When ladies are travailing.’
  2. Lord William was scarsely down the stair, A step but only ane, Till he heard his auld son gie a cry, And his lady a heavy maen.
  3. ‘Turn back, turn back, Lord William,’ she says, ‘Take thy auld son in thy coat-neuk, And see and reach thy mother’s bowers Twa hours before day comes.’
  4. He’s awa wi his auld son in his coat-neuk, As fast as he can run, And there he’s reached his mother’s bowers, Twa hours before day came.
  5. ‘O rise, O rise, my mother dear, O rise and let me in, For I’ve my auld son in my coat-neuk, And he shivers at the chin.’
  6. ‘Ye’re welcome hame to me, Lord William, And so is thy auld son; It’s where ye had but ae nourice, Thy auld son he’ll hae four.’
  7. His lady was scarsely in her bed, Nor well faln owre asleep, When four and twenty knights and lords Came for the bride at last.
  8. They dressed her up, they dressed her down, They dressed her wondrous fine, And just before her ain bedside She lost her colour clean.
  9. ‘Be hooly wi my head, maidens, Be hooly wi my hair, For it was washen late last night, And now it’s very sair.’
  10. Out then spoke a southern lord, And oh but he spak bauld: ‘She is the likest that bore a child That eer my eyes did see.’
  11. Up then spak her auld, auld father, And oh he spoke in time: ‘She neer bore a child since her birth Except it was yestreen.’
  12. Out then spoke a northern lord: ‘It’s bride, will ye dance wi me?’ ‘Oh no, oh no, you northland lord, It’s dancing’s no for me.’
  13. Out then spoke a southland lord: ‘It’s bride, will ye dance wi me?’ ‘Oh no, oh no , you southland lord, I would as lief chuse to die.’
  14. Out then spoke her ain bridegroom: ‘O bride, will ye dance wi me?’ ‘Oh no, oh no, my ain bridegroom, It’s dancing’s no for me.’
  15. Out then spoke her ain Willy, And oh he spoke fu fine: ‘O bride, O bride, will ye dance wi me,’ . . . . .
  16. ‘Oh yes, oh yes, Willie,’ she said, ‘It’s I will dance with thee; Oh yes, I’ll dance, dear Willie,’ she said, ‘Tho my back it gaes in three.’
  17. She leaned her head on Willie’s breast, And her back unto the wa: ‘O there’s the key of my coffer, And pay weel the nouriss fee, And aye when ye look on your auld son, Ye may aye think on me.’