The Brake of Briars

The Brake of Briars
All for a farmer he lived - - - -,
He had two sons and one daughter dear;
Both day and night they were contriving,
To fill her heart with a good care.
From the singing of Lemmy Brazil, Gloucester 28 December 1966 and Danny Brazil, Gloucester 5 January 1967. (Springthyme 66.9.3 & 67.1.33 ). In: Shepheard, Peter. Folk Songs and Ballads of the Brazil Family of Gloucester (1967).


All for a farmer he lived - - - -,
He had two sons and one daughter dear;
Both day and night they were contriving,
To fill her heart with a good care.

This farmer also had a servant,
His only daughter that servant loved well;
By day and night he did salute her,
And to wed with her was his intent.

When the youngest brother saw his sister,
Walking out with the servant man;
Instead of keeping his secrets and telling no other,
Until his brother he told the same.

When the brother came to hear it,
- - - -
- - - -
- - - -

A match of hunting they provided,
They provided on the very same day;
There they did this young man murder,
In a brake of briars his fair body lay.

When her two brothers came home from haunting,
It was so dark that they could not see;
She said, “Welcome home my two own brothers,
And what’s become of my servant man?”
“We left him behind where we’ve been a-hunting,
It was so dark that we could not see;
To tell you truly and not to defend you,
We have so strictly examined he.”

She lay in the bed all that night lamenting,
And there she had a shocking dream;
She dreamt she saw him in a brake of briars,
All covered over with drops of blood.
He said, “You lay still my dearest jewel,
It is too late for to weep for me.”

He said, “You rise early tomorrow morning,
And search the woods where the briars grow;
And in the valley you’ll find my body,
All covered over with drops of blood.”

She rose early the next day morning,
She rose up by the break of day;
And there she found her young man murdered,
In a brake of briars his fair body lay.

She pulled a pocket handkerchief from her pocket,
Wiping his eyes ’cos they were blind;
She was kissing his sweet cheeks oft times saying,
“There lays a bosom young friend of mine.”

A dinner then the girls provided,
She provided on the very same day;
She poisoned herself and her two own brothers,
And the four of them in one grave lay.




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