Fair Janet

No: 64; variant: 64E

  1. WILLIE and Fair Janet Sat a’ day on yon hill; And Janet she took sair pains, And O but she grew ill.
  2. ‘Fetch a woman to me, Willie, O fetch a woman to me, For without the help of woman, Willie, Surely I will dee.’
  3. ‘O tie a napkin on my face, That naething I may see, And what can a woman do, Janet, But I will do for thee?’
  4. She was na scarcely brought to bed, Nor yet laid on her side, Till in and cam her father there, Crying, Fy, gae busk the bride.
  5. ‘A wearyed bride am I, father, A wearyed bride am I; Must I gae wed that southlan lord, And let Sweet Willie abe?’
  6. ‘Now chuse, now chuse now, Fair Janet, What shall your cleeding be; Now chuse, now chuse now, Fair Janet, And I will gie it to thee.
  7. ‘Whether will you hae it of the berry brown, Or of the holland green; Or will you hae it of the crimson red, Most lovely to be seen?’
  8. ‘I will not hae’t of the berry brown, Nor yet o the holly green; But I will hae’t of the crimson red, Most lovely to be seen.’
  9. ‘Now chuse, now chuse now, Fair Janet, What man you’ll ride behind:’ ‘O wha sae fitting as Sweet Willie? He’ll fit my saddle fine.’
  10. O they rode on, and they rode on, Till they cam to Merrytown green; But Sweet Willie and Fair Janet Cam aye hoolie ahin.
  11. O whan they cam to Merrytown, And lighted on the green, Monie a bluidy aith was sworn That our bride was wi bairn.
  12. Out and spake the bonny bride, And she swore by her fingers ten: ‘If eer I was wi bairn in my life, I was lighter sin yestreen.’
  13. Up and raise he the bridegroom, Says, Bride, will ye dance wi me? ‘Dance on, dance on, bridegroom,’ she says, ‘For I’ll dance nane wi thee.’
  14. Up and raise her father then, Says, Bride, will ye dance wi me? ‘Dance on, my father,’ she replied, ‘I pray thee let me be.’
  15. Then up and raise he Sweet Willie, And he had meikle pride: ‘I’ll lay my gloves in the bride’s han, And I’ll dance for the bride.’
  16. ‘O no, O no, O Sweet Willie, O no, that shall na be; For I will dance wi thee, Willie, Tho my back should fa in three.’
  17. She had na run a reel, a reel, A reel but barely three, Till pale and wan grew Fair Janet, And her head took Willie’s knee.
  18. Out and spake then the bridegroom, And he spake wi great scorn: ‘There’s not a bell in Merrytown kirk Shall ring for her the morn.’
  19. Out and spak he Sweet Willie, And his heart was almost gane: ‘‘Tis a the bells in Merrytown kirk Shall ring for her the morn.’
  20. Willie was buried in Mary’s kirk, etc., etc., etc.