Music from Down Under

Februar 28, 2015

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Allison Gross

Februar 28, 2015

  1.
O Allison Gross, that lives in yon tow’r,
The ugliest witch i’ the north country,
Has trysted me ae day up till her bow’r,
An’ monny fair speech she made to me.

  2.
She stroaked my head, an’ she kembed my hair,
An’ she set me down saftly on her knee;
Says, ‘Gin ye will be my lemman so true,
Sae monny braw things as I woud you gi’.’

  3.
She show’d me a mantle o’ red scarlet,
Wi’ gouden flow’rs an’ fringes fine;
Says, ‘Gin ye will be my lemman sae true,
This goodly gift it sal be thine.’

  4.
‘Awa’, awa’, ye ugly witch,
Haud far awa’, an’ lat me be;
I never will be your lemman sae true,
An’ I wish I were out o’ your company.’

  5.
She neist brought a sark o’ the saftest silk,
Well wrought wi’ pearles about the ban';
Says, ‘Gin ye will be my ain true love,
This goodly gift you sal comman’.’

  6.
She show’d me a cup o’ the good red gold,
Well set wi’ jewls sae fair to see;
Says, ‘Gin you will be my lemman sae true,
This goodly gift I will you gi’.’

  7.
‘Awa’, awa’, ye ugly witch,
Had far awa’, and lat me be!
For I woudna ance kiss your ugly mouth
For a’ the gifts that you coud gi’.’

  8.
She’s turn’d her right and roun’ about,
An’ thrice she blaw on a grass-green horn;
An’ she sware by the meen and the stars abeen,
That she’d gar me rue the day I was born.

  9.
Then out has she ta’en a silver wand,
An’ she’s turn’d her three times roun’ and roun';
She’s mutter’d sich words till my strength it fail’d,
An’ I fell down senceless upon the groun’.

  10.
She’s turn’d me into an ugly worm,
And gard me toddle about the tree;
An’ ay, on ilka Saturday’s night,
My sister Maisry came to me;

  11.
Wi’ silver bason and silver kemb,
To kemb my heady upon her knee;
But or I had kiss’d her ugly mouth,
I’d rather ‘a’ toddled about the tree.

  12.
But as it fell out on last Hallow-even,
When the seely court was ridin’ by,
The queen lighted down on a gowany bank,
Nae far frae the tree where I wont to lye.

  13.
She took me up in her milk-white han’,
An’ she’s stroak’d me three times o’er her knee;
She chang’d me again to my ain proper shape,
And I nae mair maun toddle about the tree.

Jason Hetherington

Februar 28, 2015

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The Laily Worm and the Machrel of the Sea

Februar 28, 2015

  1.
‘I was but seven year auld
When my mither she did die;
My father married the ae warst woman
The warld did ever see.

  2.
‘For she has made me the laily worm,
That lies at the fit o’ the tree,
An’ my sister Masery she’s made
The machrel of the sea.

  3.
‘An’ every Saturday at noon
The machrel comes to me,
An’ she takes my laily head
An’ lays it on her knee,
She kaims it wi’ a siller kaim,
An’ washes ‘t in the sea.

  4.
‘Seven knights hae I slain,
Sin I lay at the fit of the tree,
An’ ye war na my ain father,
The eight ane ye should be.’

  5.
‘Sing on your song, ye laily worm,
That ye did sing to me:’
‘I never sung that song but what
I would sing it to thee.

  6.
‘I was but seven year auld,
When my mither she did die;
My father married the ae warst woman
The warld did ever see.

  7.
‘For she changed me to the laily worm,
That lies at the fit o’ the tree,
And my sister Masery
To the machrel of the sea.

  8.
‘And every Saturday at noon
The machrel comes to me,
An’ she takes my laily head
An’ lays it on her knee,
An’ kames it wi’ a siller kame,
An’ washes it i’ the sea.

  9.
‘Seven knights hae I slain
Sin I lay at the fit o’ the tree;
An’ ye war na my ain father,
The eighth ane ye shoud be.’

  10.
He sent for his lady,
As fast as send could he:
‘Whar is my son that ye sent frae me,
And my daughter, Lady Masery?’

  11.
‘Your son is at our king’s court,
Serving for meat an’ fee,
An’ your daughter’s at our queen’s court,
… … …’

  12.
‘Ye lie, ye ill woman,
Sae loud as I hear ye lie;
My son’s the laily worm,
That lies at the fit o’ the tree,
And my daughter, Lady Masery,
Is the machrel of the sea!’

  13.
She has tane a siller wan’,
An’ gi’en him strokes three,
And he has started up the bravest knight
That ever your eyes did see.

  14.
She has ta’en a small horn,
An’ loud an’ shrill blew she,
An’ a’ the fish came her untill
But the proud machrel of the sea:
‘Ye shapeit me ance an unseemly shape,
An’ ye’s never mare shape me.’

  15.
He has sent to the wood
For whins and for hawthorn,
An’ he has ta’en that gay lady,
An’ there he did her burn.

Jason Hetherington: Hydrolysis

Februar 28, 2015

The Twa Corbies

Februar 28, 2015

1.
As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane,
The tane unto the t’other say,
‘Where sall we gang and dine to-day?’

  2.
‘In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new slain knight;
And nae body kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair.

  3.
‘His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady’s ta’en another mate,
So we may mak’ our dinner sweet.

  4.
‘Ye’ll sit on his white hause bane,
And I’ll pike out his bonny blue een:
Wi’ ae lock o’ his gowden hair,
We’ll theek our nest when it grows bare.

  5.
‘Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken whare he is gane:
O’er his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair.’

Anthony Vaccarello

Februar 28, 2015

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Thomas Rymer

Februar 28, 2015

  1.
True Thomas lay o’er yond grassy bank,
And he beheld a ladie gay,
A ladie that was brisk and bold,
Come riding o’er the fernie brae.

  2.
Her skirt was of the grass-green silk,
Her mantel of the velvet fine,
At ilka tett of her horse’s mane
Hung fifty silver bells and nine.

  3.
True Thomas he took off his hat,
And bowed him low down till his knee:
‘All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven!
For your peer on earth I never did see.’

  4.
‘O no, O no, True Thomas,’ she says,
‘That name does not belong to me;
I am but the queen of fair Elfland,
And I’m come here for to visit thee.

  5.
‘But ye maun go wi’ me now, Thomas,
True Thomas, ye maun go wi’ me,
For ye maun serve me seven years,
Thro’ weel or wae, as may chance to be.’

  6.
She turned about her milk-white steed,
And took True Thomas up behind,
And aye whene’er her bridle rang,
The steed flew swifter than the wind.

  7.
For forty days and forty nights
He wade thro’ red blude to the knee,
And he saw neither sun nor moon,
But heard the roaring of the sea.

  8.
O they rade on, and further on,
Until they came to a garden green:
‘Light down, light down, ye ladie free,
Some of that fruit let me pull to thee.’

  9.
‘O no, O no, True Thomas,’ she says,
‘That fruit maun not be touched by thee,
For a’ the plagues that are in hell
Light on the fruit of this countrie.

  10.
‘But I have a loaf here in my lap,
Likewise a bottle of claret wine,
And now ere we go farther on,
We’ll rest a while, and ye may dine.’

  11.
When he had eaten and drunk his fill;
‘Lay down your head upon my knee,’
The lady sayd, ‘ere we climb yon hill,
And I will show you fairlies three.

  12.
‘O see not ye yon narrow road,
So thick beset wi’ thorns and briers?
That is the path of righteousness,
Tho’ after it but few enquires.

  13.
‘And see not ye that braid braid road,
That lies across yon lillie leven?
That is the path of wickedness,
Tho’ some call it the road to heaven.

  14.
‘And see not ye that bonny road,
Which winds about the fernie brae?
That is the road to fair Elfland,
Where you and I this night maun gae.

  15.
‘But, Thomas, ye maun hold your tongue,
Whatever you may hear or see,
For gin ae word you should chance to speak,
You will ne’er get back to your ain countrie.’

  16.
He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
And a pair of shoes of velvet green,
And till seven years were past and gone
True Thomas on earth was never seen.

Victoria Ivie

Februar 28, 2015

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Anon: The Unquiet Grave

Februar 28, 2015

  1.
‘The wind doth blow today, my love,
And a few small drops of rain;
I never had but one true love,
In cold grave she was lain.

  2.
‘I’ll do as much for my true love
As any young man may;
I’ll sit and mourn all at her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day.’

  3.
The twelvemonth and a day being up,
The dead began to speak:
‘Oh who sits weeping on my grave,
And will not let me sleep?’

  4.
”Tis I, my love, sits on your grave,
And will not let you sleep;
For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips,
And that is all I seek.’

  5.
‘You crave one kiss of my clay-cold lips;
But my breath smells earthy strong;
If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
Your time will not be long.

  6.
”Tis down in yonder garden green,
Love, where we used to walk;
The finest flower that ere was seen
Is withered to a stalk.

  7.
‘The stalk is withered dry, my love,
So will our hearts decay;
So make yourself content, my love,
Till God calls you away.’


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