Henry's Songbook

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Willie O' Winsbury

  • (Trad - Child 100)

    The King has been a poor prisoner, a prisoner lang in Spain
    And Willie o' the Winsbury has lain lang wi' his daughter at e'en

    What ails thee now my daughter Janet, you look so pale and wan
    Oh hae ye got any sair sickness or yet been sleeping wi' a man

    Oh I hae not got any sair sickness nor yet been sleeping wi' a man
    But it is for you my father dear, sae lang been o'er in Spain

    Tak' off tak' off your berry brown gown, stand naked on the stane
    That I may ken ye by yer shape whether ye be a maiden or nane

    So she's ta'en off her berry brown gown, stood naked on the stane
    And her back it was bent and her belly was slack and her apron strings wouldna pen

    Oh was it a lord or a duke or a knight or a man of wealth or fame
    Or was it one of my serving men wha could nae longer lie alane

    Oh it was not a lord or a duke or a knight or a man of wealth or fame
    But it was wee Willie o' the Winsbury I could nae langer lie my lane

    And if it be Willie o' the Winsbury as weel I trust it be
    Then before that I have meat or drink then it's high hanged he shall be

    And they sought him up and they sought him doon and they sought him sair and lang
    Until there in the shade of an elder tree it's Willie o' the Winsbury they found

    Rise up noo, Willie o' the Winsbury, they cried, Rise up and haste away
    For the King has sworn by his right hand that it is your dyin' day

    Oh wha hae I robbed or wha hae I slain or wha hae I done any wrang
    That I should fear to face the King and my time shall no' be lang

    And when he came the King before he was dressed all in the silk
    His cheeks they were like the berries red and his skin was as white as milk

    And there is nae wonder, said the King, That my daughter's love ye hae won
    For had I been a woman as I am a man my bedfellow you would hae been

    And will you marry my daughter Janet by the truth of your right hand
    Or will you marry my daughter Janet and I'll mak' ye a laird of the land

    Oh I will marry your daughter Janet by the truth of my right hand
    And I will marry your daughter Janet but tae hell wi' all your land

    And he's mounted her on a milk white steed and himself on a dapple grey
    And he's made her a lady of as much land as she rides on a lang summer's day

    (as sung by Dick Gaughan)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  •  [1983:] Der König gibt [...] sein Einverständnis zur Heirat, nachdem er Willie an seiner roten seidenen Tracht als Dichter erkannt hat. In jenen Zeiten waren Dichter und Barden ausschließlich dem König verpflichtet und genossen großes Ansehen. Ein Hinweis auf das vergleichsweise hohe Alter der Geschichte ist die 'Jungfräulichkeitsprobe', der der König seine Tochter unterzieht. Die magische Kraft, die den Steinen zugeschrieben wird, deutet den vorchristlichen Ursprung dieses Rituals an. (Walton 100)

  • See also, 12 Aug, 20 Nov

Quelle: Scotland

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 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (Schwerin)

aktualisiert am 10.06.2002