The cruel mother... folk song
- Hey the rose and the lindsay-o,
She's fallen in love with her father's clerk,
- Down by the greenwood side-i-o.
He courted her for a year and a day,
Till her the young man did betray.
She leaned her back up against a tree
And there the tear did blind her eye.
She leaned herself against a thorn
- All alone and so lonely,
And there she had two pretty babies born,
- And it's down by the greenwood side-o.
And she took off her ribbon belt,
And there she bound them hand and leg.
“Smile not so sweet, by bonny babes,
If you smile so sweet, you'll smile me dead.”
She leaned her back up against a thorn
And that her bonny boys she has born.
She had a pen-knife long and sharp,
And she pressed it through their tender heart.
She's taken out her little pen-knife
And she has twined them of their life.
She digged a grave beyond the sun,
And there she's buried the sweet babes in.
She stuck her pen-knife on the green,
And the more she rubbed, more blood was seen.
She threw the pen-knife far away,
And the further the threw the nearer it came.
As she was going by the church,
She seen two pretty babies in the porch.
She laid them beneath some marble stone
Thinking to go a maiden home.
As she came to her father's hall,
She seen two pretty babes playing at ball.
As she looked over her father's wall
She saw her two bonny boys playing ball.
“Oh babes, oh babes, if you were mine,
I'd dress you up in the scarlet fine.”
“Oh bonny boys, if you were mine
I would dress you in silk so fine.”
“Oh mother, oh mother, we once were thine,
You didn't dress us in scarlet fine.”
“You took a pen-knife long and sharp,
And pressed it through our tender heart.”
“You dug a grave beyond the sun,
And buried us under a marble stone.”
“Oh cruel mother, when we were thine
We didn't see aught of your silk so fine.”
“Oh babes, oh babes, what have I to do,
For the cruel thing that I did to you?”
“Oh bonny boys, come tell to me
What sort of death I'll have to die?”
“Seven long years a bird in the wood,
And seven long years a fish in the flood.”
“Seven years as a fish in the flood,
And seven years a bird in the wood.”
“Seven long years a warning bell,
And seven long years in the deeps of hell.”
“Seven years a tongue in the warning bell,
And seven years in the flames of hell.”
“Welcome, welcome, fish in the flood,
And welcome, welcome, bird in the wood.”
“Welcome, tongue to the warning bell,
But God keep me from the flames of hell.”
There was a lady near the town,
- Low so low and so lonely,
She walked all night and all around,
- Down in the greenwoods of ivy.