The Banks of Sweet Dundee

The Banks of Sweet Dundee
All for a fair damsel I’ve latelye been told,
Her parents died and left her a hundred pounds in gold.
As sung by Danny Brazil, Gloucester 5 January 1966 (Springthyme 66.2.1) In: Shepheard, Peter. Folk Songs and Ballads of the Brazil Family of Gloucester (1967).

All for a fair damsel I’ve latelye been told,
Her parents died and left her a hundred pounds in gold;
She lived all with her uncle the cause of all her woe,
So soon you’ll hear the maid so fair when she proved his overthrow.

Her uncle had a ploughing boy that Mary loved fair well,
It was in her uncle’s garden some tales of love they told;
All for a wealthy squire so often came to see,
Still Mary she loved her ploughboy on the Banks of Sweet Dundee.

It was earlye one morning Mary’s uncle he rose,
Straight away to Mary’s bedroom so speedilye did go;
Saying, “Rise you up young Mary, a lady you may be,
The squire’s waiting for you on the Banks of Sweet Dundee.”

“I don’t want none of your squires, your lords or dukes likewise,
Young Willie he appears to me like diamonds in my eyes.”
“We’ll have young Willie headed, we’ll chain him to a tree,
We’ll send the press gang to him on the Banks of Sweet Dundee.”

The press gang came to William as he sat all alone,
Where he boldlye fought for liberty where there was ten to one;
The blood flew in torrents, “Now kill me now,” says he,
“I’d rather die for Mary on the Banks of Sweet Dundee.”

As Mary was walking all through her uncle’s grove,
There she met the wealthy squire dressed in his mornings clothes;
He put his arms around her, “Stand off, stand off,” says she,
“You sent the only lad I love from the Banks of Sweet Dundee.”

He throwed his arms around her trying to throw her down,
Two pistols and a sword she spied beneath his mornings gown;
She took the weapons from him and the sword she used free,
She boldlye fired and shot the squire on the Banks of Sweet Dundee.

Soon as her uncle heard of it he made haste to the ground
He said, “Since you’ve ki1led the squire I’ll give you your death wound.”
“It’s stand you off,” young Mary cried, “Undaunted I will be.”
The trigger drew and her uncle slew on the Banks of Sweet Dundee.

The doctor was sent for a man of noted skill,
And likewise a lawyer to sign up his will;
He willed his gold to Mary ’cos she fought so manfully,
He closed his eyes no more could rise on the Banks of Sweet Dundee.

Young William was sent for and quicklye did return,
As soon as he came back again young Mary ceased to mourn;
The day it was appointed they joined their hands so free,
And now they live in splendour on the Banks of Sweet Dundee.



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