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Willie o'Winsbury
A song which appears in most British traditions and is sometimes considered to be Scottish. One of my favourite ballads. With 2nd part played on a Troubadour Lionheart bouzouki.
Acoustic - Folk
Previous peak charts position #58
Previous peak charts position in subgenre #4
Trad. Arr David Kilpatrick
David Kilpatrick
November 24, 2003
MP3 5.5 MB
128 kbps bitrate
5:59 minutes
Story behind the song
I've been doing this song for a long time now, though it changes and evolves all the time The basis is John Renbourn's classic recording, and I suspect the same applies to many of the other versions I have since heard. The Northern and Scottish vocal twists are gratuitous and just a bit of fun; you can sing this one in a fairly posh accent and get away with it. If my daughter ever looks unexpectedly pregnant, I must remember to have a stone ready.
The king has been a prisoner For many's the year in Spain And Willie o'Winsbury Lang wi' his dochter has lain Aw Janet, aw Janet, ma dochter dear Why ye look so pale and wan Have ye had some sore sickness? Or have ye been sleepin' wi' a man? Oh, it is not with any sore sickness Nor have I been sleepin' wi' a man; I was for you, ma father dear, Fer bidin' sae lang in Spain Cast down, cast down your berry-brown gown Stand nakit on the stone That I may know you by yer shape If you be a maiden or none And she's cast down her berry-brown gown Stood nakit on the stone And her apron was low, and her belly was round And her eyes were pale and wan Oh, wis it wi' an earl, or a laird, or a knicht? Or a man of birth in vain (Alt: worth and fame, Both-in-Bain) Or was it wi' one o' me servin'-men That's lately come oot o' Spain? Well it wasn't wi' an earl, or a laird, or a knicht Or a man o' worth and fame Oh it was with Willie of Winsbury I could bide no langer alane And the kind he has called his merrymen, oh By thirty and by three Saying, fetch me this Willie o'Winsbury For hanged he shall surely be And when he came the king before He was dressed all in the red silk His hair was like the threads o' gowd An' his skin wis as white as the milk Aw, it is no wonde, said the king That ma dochter's luv ye did win If ah was a woman as ah am a man Ma bed-fellow you should ha' bin Oh, will ye marry ma dochter Janet By the truth o' thy right hand? Oh if ye'll marry ma dochter Janet I'll mak thee a laird o' ma land Oh, I will marry your daughter Janet By the truth o' my right hand Oh, I will marry your daughter Janet But I'll not be a laird in your land And he's mounted her on a milk-white steed And himself on a dapple grey And he's made the lady of as much land As ye'll ride in a long summer day
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