It's of a pretty sailor lad who ploughed the stormy sea,
He dressed himself in tarry clothes, like one in poverty;
His pockets being well lined, though of the sailor trade,
For to try the heart of Mary Ann, the little Lowland Maid.
As Mary Ann was standing down by her cottage door
She frowned upon her sailor lad, who seemed to be so poor.
She looked just like a goddess, in jewels rich arrayed,
But the thorn was in the bosom of the little Lowland Maid.
"Good morning;" said false Mary Ann, "I'm glad to meet with you;
Have you forgot your own true love, or changed your love for new?
Or is your inclination all on some other strayed?
So begone!" said lovely Mary Ann, the little Lowland Maid.
She seemed to be so scornful, so the sailor says "Behold I"
All from his trousers-pocket he pulls a bag of gold.
So then replied false Mary Ann "Excuse me what I said!
You're welcome to the cottage and the little Lowland Maid."
"Oh no! deceitful damsel, your falseness shall be paid,
For I can lie till morning in some distant barn or shed:"
It was the hour of twelve o'clock young Mary Ann did stray,
And she told some other comrade where the sailor he did lay.
They went with their dark lanterns and daggers in their hands,
They rode through woods and meadows, and past the muddy lands;
"Cheer up your hearts", said Mary Ann, "and do not be betrayed,
We will rob and slay the sailor for the little Lowland Maid'.'
They both then plunged their daggers into the sailor, deep;
They robbed him of his glittering gold, and left him there to weep.
A gamekeeper was watching them; all from his wood he strayed,
Then he swore against the villain and the little Lowland Maid.
They both then stood their trials, and were condemned, and cast;
And on the fatal gallows-tree they both were hung at last.
There were thousands flocked to see them, and scornfully they said
"Begone! you cruel monster, and the little Lowland Maid!"
abc | midi | pdf
Source: Broadwood, L, 1908, English Traditional Songs and Carols, London, Boosey
Sung by Mr Baker, 1896.
Lucy BroadWood wrote:
A broadside version, called "The Cruel Lowland Maid" and signed G. Brown, was printed by Ryle, successor to Catnach. The singer's words " courtmaid," " valliant," and " manastree " being obviously " comrade," " villain," and " monster," have been altered in the version here given.
Roud: 307 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six