Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard
1: Little Moscrow
[an error occurred while processing this directive] VERSIONS FROM THE SINGING TRADITION
1: Little Muscrow
As sung by Nicolas Underhill, Newcastle, New Brunswick, Canada
2: Little Matty Groves
As sung by Jeannie Robertson, Aberdeen
As sung by Nicolas Underhill, Newcastle, New Brunswick 1972. Recorded by Peter and Lena Shepheard at a 'time' (house ceilidh) at Louise Manny's house. This ballad appears in Miramichi as Little Moscrow, and the faithless wife is Lady Bantley. Nick Underhill learned the ballad in the winter of I920 from Big John MacDonald, a native of Glenwood, who later moved to Grey Rapids and spent the rest of his life there. The ballad is well known in the area. Nicolas Underhill's tune as sung on this occasion was a superb myxolydian melody reaching down in a quite unusual manner to finish the third line on the 6th below the tonic. The tune noted from him in Louise Manny's 'Songs of the Mirimichi' is quite different and not as distinctine or interesting. I feel sure that the version sung here is the tune normally used by the singer.

Four and twenty gay ladies,
One night was at the ball;
Lord Bantley's wife, the fairest flower,
The fairest of them all.

She placed an eye on Little Moscrow,
And he did the same on she
Saying, 'How much would you give me my sweet little crow,
One night to spend with me?'

'One night to spend with thee, lady,
Would cost me a great deal of strife,
But by the ring on your finger small
I fear you're Lord Bantley's wife.'

'Lord Bantley's wife, although I am,
You I mean to beguile;
For he has to old England gone,
And he won't return for a while.'

As Lord Bantley sat on his Kingly throne,
An' a noble King was he;
Sayin, 'I can neither eat nor sleep,
Till my lady I go see.'

'What noise is that?' said little Moscrow,
It's sounding very near?
I fear it is Lord Bantley's horn,
It sounds so very clear.'

'Turn o'er, turn o'er, my sweet little crow
And keep me from the cold;
It is nothing but my father's herd;
They're driving the sheep to the fold.'

They had scarcely been in bed for an hour or two,
Or yet was fast asleep
When into the room Lord Bantley crept,
And he stood at their bed feet,

'Oh how do you like my blanket sir,
And how do you like my sheet;
And how do you like my false lady
That lies in your arms so neat?'

'It is well I like your blanket sir,
And better I like your sheet;
And far better I love your gay lady,
Who lies in my arms so neat.'

'Here is two swords I hold in my hand,
And they cost me very dear;
You take the best and I'll keep the worst,
And we'll try each other here.'

The very first round which they did fight
He wounded the King full sore;
But the next round which they did have,
Little crow he sighed no more.

He took his false lady by the hand,
And he pierced her body through
Saying, 'Lie there, lie there, you false lady;
It is soon I will follow you.'

So they dug a grave both wide and deep,
And they put Lord Bantley in,
And they placed his wife on the sunny side;
She was wed to a noble King.

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