Share Button

The Twa Sisters

There was twa sisters in a bowr,
Edinburgh, Edinburgh
There was twa sisters in a bowr,
Stirling for ay
There was twa sisters in a bowr,
There came a knight to be their wooer.

He courted the eldest wi glove an ring,
But he lovd the youngest above a’ thing.

He courted the eldest wi brotch an knife,
But lovd the youngest as his life.

The eldest she was vexed sair,
An much envi’d her sister fair.

Into her bowr she could not rest,
Wi grief an spite she almost brast.

Upon a morning fair and clear,
She cried upon her sister dear:

“O sister, come to yon sea stran,
An see our father’s ship come to lan.”

She’s taen her by the milk-white han,
An led her down to yon sea stran.

The youngest stood upon a stane,
The eldest came and threw her in.

She tooke her by the middle sma,
And dashd her bonny back to the jaw.

“O sister, sister, tak my han,
An Ise mack you heir to a’ my lan.”

“O sister, sister, tak my middle,
An yes get my goud and my gouden girdle.”

“O sister, sister, save my life,
An I swear Ise never be nae man’s wife.”

“Foul fa the han that I should tacke,
It twin’d me and my wardles make.”

“Your cherry cheeks an yallow hair,
Gars me gae maiden for evermair.”

Sometimes she sank, and sometimes she swam,
Till she came down yon bonny mill-dam.

O out it came the millers son,
An saw the fair maid swimmin’ in.

“O Father, father, draw your dam,
Here’s either a mermaid or a swan.”

The miller quickly drew the dam,
An there he found a drownd woman.

You couldna see her yallow hair,
For gold and pearle that were so rare.

An by there came a harper fine,
That harped to the king at dine.

When he did look that lady upon,
He sighd and made a heavy moan.

He’s taen three locks o her yallow hair,
An wi them strung his harp sae fair.

The first tune he did play and sing,
Was, “Farewell to my father the king.”

The nextin tune that he playd syne,
Was, “Farewell to my mother the queen.”

The lasten tune that he playd then,
Was, “wae to my sister, Fair Ellen.”

Child #10 from Francis J. Child Ballads

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Anonymous

  1. Jan says:

    Very nice! Took me a bit to read it, to decipher the written accent to word, but worth the time!

    • Mike Maggio says:

      Hi Jan: This is an old Scottish ballad – probably a coupleo of hundred years old. You do have to break the code: so twa means two. Therefore, The TWo Sisters

Comments are closed.