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Tim Jenkins, Balladeer: Music

Mary Hamilton (Child 173)

(Tim Jenkins, Balladeer)
August 8, 2010
Traditional


Word is to the kitchen gone,
And word is to the ha’
And word is up to Madam the Queen,
And that’s the worst of a’
That Mary Hamilton’s born a babe,
To the highest Stuart of a’.

“Arise, arise, Mary Hamilton,
Arise and tell to me,
What hast thou done with thy wee babe,
I saw and heard greet by thee?”

“I put him in a little boat,
And threw it out to sea,
That it might sink, or it might float,
But he’d never return t’ me.”

“Arise, arise, Mary Hamilton,
Arise and come with me,
There is a wedding in Glasgow town,
This night we’ll go and see.”

She put not on her robe of black,
Nor yet her robe of brown,
But she put on her robe of white,
To ride through Glasgow town.

And as they rode through Glasgow town,
The city for to see,
The bailiff’s wife and the provost’s wife,
Cried “Ach, and alas to thee”

 “Ye need not weep for me she cried,
Ye need not weep for me,
For had I not slain my own wee babe,
This death I would not dee.

“Ah little did my mother think,
When first she cradled me,
The lands I was to travel in,
The death I was to dee.

“Last night I washed the Queen’s feet,
And put the gold in her hair,
And the only reward I got for this,
The gallows to be my share.

“Cast off, cast off my gown she cried,
But let my petticoat be,
And tie a napkin round my face,
For the gallows I would not see.”

Then bye and come the King himself,
Looked up with pitiful eye.
“Come down, come down, Mary Hamilton,
This night you’ll dine with me.”

“Ah hold your tongue, my sovereign liege,
And let your folly be,
For if you’d a mind to save my life,
You’d never have shamed me.

“Last night there were four Marys,
Tonight there’ll be but three,
There was Mary Beaton, and Mary Seton,
And Mary Carmichael and me.”

ha’: hall
a’: all
greet: weep
dee: die