Willie's Lyke Wake

On Springthyme SPRCD 1043
Shepheard, Spiers & Watson: Over the High Hills

Arthur Watson: The hero who feigns death to draw a timid maiden is a common ballad theme. This is among the commonest ballads in Danish, and is known in Magyar, Slovenian, and Italian variants but has been rare in Scotland. This version is based on the fragmentary ballad sung by Mrs Gillespie of Glasgow as learnt by her in Buchan from her father's stepmother, here with additional text from a similar but full version published as Among the Blue Flowers and the Yellow by Peter Buchan in his Ballads of the North of Scotland in 1828. (Child 25, Roud 30; Greig Duncan 4:843)

Arthur (lead vocal) with Pete (melodeon and vocal) and Tom (fiddle and vocal)

1: "Willie ma son, why look ye sae sad?"
As the sun shines over the valley
"I lie sairly sick for the love o a maid."
Amang the blue flooers and the yellow

2: "O Willie, ma son, I wad learn ye a wile,
It is how ye can this maiden beguile."

3: "And it's ye’ll gie the bellman his bell groat,
Tae ring his deid bell at your true love's gate."

4: And he's gien the bellman his bell groat,
And he's rung his deid bell at Willie's true lover's gate.

5: And the maid she stood and she heard it aa,
Aye, and doun her cheeks the tears did faa.

6: And she's gaed doun tae Willie's yett,
Willie's seiven brithers were standin thereat.

7: And they did convoy her intae Willie's haa,
For there were weepers an mourners amang them aa.

8: She has lifted up the coverin, the coverin o reid,
An wi a melancholy countenance tae gaze upon the deid.

9: Willie’s taen aroond the middle sae sma,
An he's laid her atween him and the waa.

10: "O Willie, O Willie let me stay a maid,
And the very next mornin I'll be your bride."

11: "Aye, but noo ye've cam intae my bower,
Ye winna ging a maid anither quarter o an hour."

12: It wis at Willie's wake that she got her beddin,
As the sun shines over the valley
And the very next day was her gay weddin.
Amang the blue flooers and the yellow

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