Young Hunting

Sara Grey: On Autumn Harvest ah007: Old Songs & Bothy Ballads: Grand to Be a Working Man. Recorded at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2008.

Sara sings an archaic version of the ballad from Appalachian tradition. Walter Scott's version of the ballad (Child 68), naturally the best known to the literary world, is described by the editor as made up from the best verses of Herd's copies with some trivial alterations adopted from tradition. This account is far from being exact, for there are many lines in the edition of 1802 which are not found in Herd's copies and, in the edition of 1833, there are four additional stanzas.

1: "Come in, come in my own true love,
And spend this night with me;
For I have a bed, it's a very fine bed,
I'll give it up for thee,
I'll give it up for thee."

2: Oh I can't come in and I won't come in,
For to spend this night with thee;
For I have a wife in the old Scotland,
This night she'll wait for me,
This night she'll wait for me.

3: She's pulled out her little penknife,
It being both keen and sharp;
And stepp├Ęd up to her own true love,
Pierced him through his heart,
She pierced him through his heart.

4: "Woe be, woe be lady Margaret," he cried,
Woe be it's unto me;
For never was a wife in the old Scotland,
Loved any better than thee,
That I loved any better than thee."

5: "But I won't live and I can't live,
From the wounds you gave to me;
Oh there never was a doctor in the old Scotland,
Could save the life of me,
That could save the life of me."

6: She's gone up to her servant girl,
"This thing I promised thee;
If you'll help me this dark cold night,
My gown I'll give to thee,
My gown I'll give to thee."

7: She's got a hold of his long yellow hair,
And the other took up his feet;
And they throwed him in to the old dry well,
That was both dark and deep,
That was both dark and deep.

8: "Lie there, lie there my own false love,
Till the flesh falls from your frame;
And the little old wife in the old Scotland,
Will mourn for your return,
Will mourn for your return."

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