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The was a lady lived in York
(all alone-y, alone-y)
She was courted by her father's clerk.
(Down by the greenwood side-y.)

She leaned her back against an oak
But first it bent and then it broke.

She leaned herself against a thorn
And there she had two pretty babes born.

She had a pen-knife long and sharp,
And she pressed it through their tender hearts.

She digged a grave both wide and long,
And she buried them under a marble stone.

And she was sat at her father's hall,
Oh there she saw two pretty babes playing at ball.

Oh babes - oh babes if you were mine,
I would dress you up in the scarlet fine.

Oh mother, oh mother we once were thine,
You did not dress us in the scarlet fine.

You digged a grave both wide and long,
And you buried under a marble stone.

Babes - oh babes come tell to me,
If you know what the future means to me.

Mother - oh mother you know right well,
'Tis we for Heaven and you for Hell.

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Source: Marrow Bones, Ed Frank Purslow, EFDS, 1965.

Hammond D.863. Collected from Mrs. Case, Sydling St. Nicholas, Dorset, Sept 1907.

Roud: 9 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Child: 20

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