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(Version A)

O she call-ed to her little page boy,
Who was her mo-ther's son
She told him as quick as he could go
To bring the lord safe home.

Now the first mile he would walk,
And the second he would run,
And when he came to a broken, broken bridge
He would bend his breast and swim.

When he came to the new castell,
The lord was sat to meat.
If you knew as much as me
How little you would eat.

Is my bower falling, falling down,
Or is my tower down,
Or is my gay lady put to bed
With a daughter or a son?

O no, your bower is not a-falling down,
Neither your tower down,
Neither is your lady put to bed
With a daughter or a son.

O no, your bower is not falling down,
Neither is your tower down,
But we are afraid before you return
Your lady will be dead and gone.

Come saddle, saddle my my milk-white steed,
Come saddle my pony too,
That I may neither eat nor drink
Till I come to the new castell.

Now when he came to the new castell
He heard a big bell toll
And there he saw eight noble, noble men
A-bearing of a pall.

Lay down, lay down that gentle, gentle corpse
As it lay fast asleep,
Lay down, lay down that gentle, gentle corpse
That I wish to kiss so sweet.

Six times he kissed her red ruby lips,
Nine times he kissed her chin,
Ten times he kissed her snowy white breast
Which love did enter in.

The lady was buried on that Sunday
Before the prayer was end,
And the lord he died on Sunday next
Before the prayer begun.


(Version C)

Go fetch to me my little nephew
That is my sister's son,
That he may go and tell my Lord George
I shall be dead before he come.

The messenger walked full seven long miles
And the other six he run
He ran till he came to the clear water's side
Then he bent on his breast and he swum.

He swum till he came to the high castle hall
Where my Lord George sat at meat.
He said: If you knew what I'm come to tell you
Not a morsel more would you eat.

Your high castle walls are all fallen down,
And you high castle gates are overthrown,
And your lady she lies on a soft bed of down,
She'll be dead and before you can come.

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Source: Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs, ed Maud Karpeles , Oxford University Press, 1974

A: Sung by Jack Barnard (45) at Bridgewater, Somerset, 18th April 1906.
B: Sung by William Hitchman (67) at Farringdon, Berkshire, 1 August 1907
C: Sung by Joseph Alcock (78) at Sibford Gower, Oxfordshire, 17 September 1922
D: Sung by Mrs Louie Hooper at Hambridge, Somerset, 5 August, 1904

Roud: 45 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Child: 65

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