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about

It's rare to find traditional songs that feature multiple female characters, and when they do, they almost always seem to be of the "Cruel Sister" variety. I love this tale of sisterly love and support from My Song Is My Own. I took a heavy arranging hand on this one, cutting verses, editing verse structure, and making significant alterations to the melody. According to the book's notes, unmarried relationships often co-existed with marriage and were legally recognized in Scotland until the 13th century.

lyrics

“It’s narrow, narrow, make your bed and learn to lie alone;
For I’m going over the sea, fair Annie, a fine bride to bring home.
A fine bride to bring home, fair Anne, with gold, and gear and name;
For I took you as a waif woman, now I’ll leave you as the same.”

“But who will bake my bridal bread, and who’ll brew my bridal ale?
And who will welcome my brisk young bride that I bring o’er the dale?”
“When you come o’er the dale,” she said, “I’ll host your feast that night,
And I will welcome your brisk young bride, although it does me slight.”

She’s taken her young son in her arms and another by the hand,
And she is up to the highest tower to see him come to land.
“Come see him come to land, my son, look o’er yon sea strand;
Come see your father’s brisk young bride before she comes to land.”

“You’re welcome to your house, Lord Tom, you’re welcome to your land;
You’re welcome with your fair lady that you lead by the hand.
I’ll lead you by the hand, lady, over to your bowers;
You’re welcome to your house, lady, all that’s here is yours.”

“I thank thee, Annie, I thank thee, Annie, so dearly I thank thee;
You’re the likest to my sister that ever I did see.
For never did I see the knight that stole my sister away;
Oh, shame on him and his company and the land where’er he stay.”

When bells were rung and mass was sung, and all were bound for bed,
She watched as Thomas and his bride to their chamber they were led.
As to their chamber they were led, she sat down to harp them to sleep,
And as she harped and as she sang, full sorely she did weep.

“My gown is on,” said the brisk young bride, “my shoes are on my feet,
I will go to Annie’s room and see what makes her weep.
What makes you weep, my Fair Annie, why make you such a moan?”
“It’s for the gold Lord Thomas wants, for I can give him none.”

“Who was your father, Fair Annie, do you know who your mother was?”
“King Easter was my father dear, the queen my mother was.”
“The queen my mother was also, my father King Easter, too,
So it shall not be for lack of gold that your love shall part from you.”

“For I myself have seven ships all loaded to the brim,
And I will give them all to you and to your seven children.
You and your seven children, Lord Thomas shall not leave alone,
And thanks to all the powers in heaven, I go a maiden home.”

credits

from The Fairest Flower of Womankind, released April 28, 2017
Guitar & Vocals: Lindsay Straw

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about

Lindsay Straw Boston, Massachusetts

Boston-based traditional folk singer, guitarist & bouzouki player.

"Hearken(s) back to more innocent times, of Greenwich Village and pure folk." - The Living Tradition

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