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Tim Jenkins, Balladeer: Music

The Dowie Dens o' Yarrow (Child 214)

(Tim Jenkins, Balladeer)
August 8, 2010

There was a lady in the North
I ne’er did see her marrow,
She was courted by nine gentlemen
And a ploughboy lad frae Yarrow.

Those nine sat drinking at the wine
A drinking wine in Yarrow,
They made a vow amongst themselves
To fecht for her on Yarrow.

She’s washed his face, she’s kaimed his hair,
As she had done afore O,
And she’s made him look just like a laird
To fecht for her on Yarrow.

As he walked doon yon high, high hill
Doon by the hames o’ Yarrow,
There he saw nine arm-ed men
Come to fecht wi’ him on Yarrow.

There’s nine o’ you, there’s ane o’ me
Its an unequal marrow,
But I’ll fecht you a’, yin by yin
On the dowie dens o’ Yarrow.

And there they flew, and there he slew
And there he wounded sairly
‘Til her brither John came in frae beyond
And pierced his heart most foully

Oh father dear, I dreamed a dream,
A dream of dule and sorrow
I dreamed I was pu’ing the heather green
On the dowie dens o’ Yarrow.

Oh dochter dear I read your dream,
I doubt it will bring sorrow,
For your lover John lies pale and wan
On the dowie dens o’ Yarrow.

As she walked doon yon high, high hill
Doon by the hames o’ Yarrow,
There she saw her lover dear
Lying pale and cold on Yarrow.

Her hair it being three-quarters long,
The color it was yellow,
She wrappit it round his middle sae sma’
And bore him doon tae Yarrow.

O father dear, ye’ve seeven sons,
Ye may wed them a’ tomorrow,
But the fairest flo’er amang them a’
Is the lad I lov’d on Yarrow.

dowie: dismal
den: small valley
ne’er: never
marrow: equal, contest
frae: from
fecht: fight
laird: lord
doon: down
hames: homes
wi’: with
ane: one
yin: one
sairly: sorely
brither: brother
frae beyond: from behind
dule: distress of mind
pu’ing: pulling
dochter: daughter
doubt: suspect
wrappit: wrapped
sae: so
ye’ve: you haves
eeven: seven
a’: all
flo’er: flower
amang: among
lov’d: loved