My boy was scarcely ten years auld,
Whan he went to an unco land,
Where wind never blew, nor cocks ever crew,
Ohon for my son, Leesome Brand! Child has 2 (A, B) versions of Leesome Brand but none with tune. Bronson has no texts or tunes in his Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads. Very few other texts have come to light but there is a text in the Greig-Duncan collection. No tune is known for the ballad.
[ A | B | Greig-Duncan ]
Try this [ LINK ] to traditional versions from the archives.
Version A[ HOME ] [ Numbered List ]
1 My boy was scarcely ten years auld,
Whan he went to an unco land,
Where wind never blew, nor cocks ever crew,
Ohon for my son, Leesome Brand!
2 Awa to that king's court he went,
It was to serve for meat an fee
Gude red gowd it was his hire,
And lang in that king's court stayd he.
3 He hadna been in that unco land
But only twallmonths twa or three,
Till by the glancing o his ee,
He gaind the love o a gay ladye.
4 This ladye was scarce eleven years auld,
When on her love she was right bauld;
She was scarce up to my right knee,
When oft in bed wi men I'm tauld.
5 But when nine months were come and gane,
This ladye's face turnd pale and wane.
6 To Leesome Brand she then did say,
'In this place I can nae mair stay.
7 'Ye do you to my father's stable,
Where steeds do stand baith wight and able.
8 'Strike ane o them upo the back,
The swiftest will gie his head a wap.
9 'Ye take him out upo the green,
And get him saddled and bridled seen.
10 'Get ane for you, anither for me,
And lat us ride out ower the lee.
11 'Ye do you to my mother's coffer,
And out of it ye'll take my tocher.
12 'Therein are sixty thousand pounds,
Which all to me by right belongs.'
13 He's done him to her father's stable,
Where steeds stood baith wicht and able.
14 Then he strake ane upon the back,
The swiftest gae his head a wap.
15 He's taen him out upo the green,
And got him saddled and bridled seen.
16 Ane for him, and another for her,
To carry them baith wi might and virr.
17 He's done him to her mother's coffer,
And there he's taen his lover's tocher;
18 Wherein were sixty thousand pound,
Which all to her by right belongd.
19 When they had ridden about six mile,
His true love then began to fail.
20 'O wae's me,' said that gay ladye,
'I fear my back will gang in three!
21 'O gin I had but a gade midwife,
Here this day to save my life,
22 'And ease me o my misery,
O dear, how happy I woud be!
23 'My love, we're far frae ony town,
There is nae midwife to be foun.
24 'But if ye'll be content wi me,
I'll do for you what man can dee.'
25 'For no, for no, this maunna be,'
Wi a sigh, replied this gay ladye.
26 'When I endure my grief and pain,
My companie ye maun refrain.
27 'Ye'll take your arrow and your bow,
And ye will hunt the deer and roe.
28 'Be sure ye touch not the white hynde,
For she is o the woman kind.'
29 He took sic pleasure in deer and roe,
Till he forgot his gay ladye.
30 Till by it came that milk-white hynde,
And then he mind on his ladye syne.
31 He hasted him to yon greenwood tree,
For to relieve his gay ladye;
32 But found his ladye lying dead,
Likeways her young son at her head.
33 His mother lay ower her castle wa,
And she beheld baith dale and down;
And she beheld young Leesome Brand,
As he came riding to the town.
34 'Get minstrels for to play,' she said,
'And dancers to dance in my room;
For here comes my son, Leesome Brand,
And he comes merrilie to the town.'
35 'Seek nae minstrels to play, mother,
Nor dancers to dance in your room;
But tho your son comes, Leesome Brand,
Yet he comes sorry to the town.
36 'O I hae lost my gowden knife;
I rather had lost my ain sweet life!
37 'And I hae lost a better thing,
The gilded sheath that it was in.'
38 'Are there nae gowdsmiths here in Fife,
Can make to you anither knife?
39 'Are there nae sheath-makers in the land,
Can make a sheath to Leesome Brand?'
40 'There are nae gowdsmiths here in Fife,
Can make me sic a gowden knife;
41 'Nor nae sheath-makers in the land,
Can make to me a sheath again.
42 'There ne'er was man in Scotland born,
Ordaind to be so much forlorn.
43 'I've lost my ladye I lovd sae dear,
Likeways the son she did me bear.'
44 'Put in your hand at my bed head,
There ye'll find a gude grey horn;
In it three draps o' Saint Paul's ain blude,
That hae been there sin he was born.
45 'Drap twa o them o your ladye,
And ane upo your little young son;
Then as lively they will be
As the first night ye brought them hame.'
46 He put his hand at her bed head,
And there he found a gude grey horn,
Wi three draps o' Saint Paul's ain blude,
That had been there sin he was born.
47 Then he drappd twa on his ladye,
And ane o them on his young son,
And now they do as lively be,
As the first day he brought them hame.
Version B[ TOP ]
Motherwell's MS., p. 365. From the recitation of Agnes Lyle, Kilbarchan.
1 'There is a feast in your father's house,
The broom blooms bonnie and so is it fair
It becomes you and me to be very douce.
And we'll never gang up to the broom nae mair
2 'You will go to yon hill so hie
Take your bow and your arrow wi thee.'
3 He's tane his lady on his back,
And his auld son in his coat lap.
4 'When ye hear me give a cry,
Ye'll shoot your bow and let me lye.
5 'When ye see me lying still,
Throw away your bow and come running me till.'
6 When he heard her gie the cry,
He shot his bow and he let her lye.
7 When he saw she was lying still,
He threw away his bow and came running her till.
8 It was nae wonder his heart was sad
When he shot his auld son at her head.
9 He houkit a grave, long, large and wide,
He buried his auld son doun by her side.
10 It was nae wonder his heart was sair
When he shooled the mools on her yellow hair.
11 'Oh,' said his father, 'son, but thou 'rt sad!
At our braw meeting you micht be glad.'
12 'Oh,' said he, 'Father, I've lost my knife
I loved as dear almost as my own life.
13 'But I have lost a far better thing,
I lost the sheath that the knife was in.'
14 'Hold thy tongue, and mak nae din;
I'll buy thee a sheath and a knife therein.'
15 'A' the ships eer sailed the sea
Neer'll bring such a sheath and a knife to me.
16 'A' the smiths that lives on land
Will neer bring such a sheath and knife to my hand.'
Greig-Duncan[ TOP ]
Transcribed by James Duncan as recited by Miss Bell Robertson, from her mother, who received it from Miss R's grandmother (18th century). Alexander Keith: Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads (Aberdeen) 1915 and in Greig-Duncan .
1. "The morn is the day," she said,
"I in my father's court maun stan',
An' I'll be set in a chair o gold,
To see gin I be maid or nane."
2. "You go into my father's stable,
The steeds stan' there both wight an' able."
3. "Ye gie ony o them upon the breast,
The swiftest will gie his head a cast."
4. "Ye tak him oot upon the green,
An tak me shortly on ahin."
5. He went into her father's stable,
The steeds stood there both wight an' able.
6. He gae ane o them upon the breast,
The swiftest gae his head a cast.
7. He took him oot upon the green,
An' took her shortly on ahin.
8. But they hadna ridden a mile or twa,
Till aff o the horse she was like to fa'.
9. They hadna ridden a mile or three,
Till on the horse she was like to dee.
10. "O, gin I lout me to my tae,
My very back will go in twa;
11. "An' gin I lout me to my knee,
My silver sneeds they go in three.
12. "Ye tak your flint an' fleerishin,
An' kindle up a fire richt seen.
13. "Ye dee ye doon to yon greenwood,
An' shortsome you wi deer an' rae.
14. "See that ye harm not yon ae fite hin',
For she is come o women kin'."
15. He's taen his flint an' fleerishin,
An' kindled up a fire richt seen.
16. He's done him down to yon greensward,
To shortsome him wi deer an' rae.
17. He took such delight in deer an' rae,
That he his lady clean forgot.
18. Till by it cam yon ae white hin',
That min't him on his lady syne.
19. Then he has to his lady gane,
An' aye as fast as gang could he;
20. An' there he found his lady dead,
An' his little young son at her head.
21. His mother lay o'er castle wa',
An' she beheld both dale an' down,
An' she beheld Sir Lishen Brand,
He was comin rakin to the town.
22. "Ye get me pipers to play," she says,
"An' ladies to dance in a reel,
For here is my son Lishen Brand,
An' he's come rakin to the town."
23. "Ye get nae pipers to play, mother,
Nor ladies to dance in a reel,
For I am your son Lishen Brand,
But I'm comin sorry to the town."
24. "For I hae lost my gay gold knife,
I loved it dearer than my life;
25. "An' I have lost a better thing,
I hae lost the sheath that my knife lay in."
26. "Is there not a smith in a' my lan',
Could mak to you a knife again?"
27. "Is there a souter in a' my lan',
Could seam to you a sheath again?"
28. "There's nae a smith in a' your lan',
Could shape the blade oot o the tang;
29. "There's nae a souter in a' your lan',
Could sew to me a sheath again."
30. "O ye hae lost your lady gay
An' ye hae lost your little young son.
31. "But do you to your mother's bed-head,
Ye'll find a horn has hung lang,
An' there ye'll find three draps o bleed
That has hung there since one was born.
32. "Ye drap twa on your lady gay,
An' ane upon your little young son,
An' ye'll fin' them as life-livin
As the first hour that ye got them in."
33. He's done him to his mother's bed-head,
An' found a horn that hung lang,
An' there he found three draps o bleed,
That had hung there since one was born.
34. He drappit twa on his lady gay,
An' ane upon his little young son,
An' he fan them as life-livin
As the first hour that he got them in.
Appendix[ TOP ]
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