Young Hunting

by Elly Hadaway

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A pleasingly juicy murder ballad, which I first heard on a recording by the wonderful Nancy Kerr. Unaccompanied. Features bonus snarky bird.


"Abide, abide, true love," she said,
"And you shall stay all night,
You shall have your pleasure in my room
By coal or candle light, light,
By coal or candle light."

"No, I won't abide, false lady,
And neither stay all night,
For a fairer love shall I enjoy
When I go home tonight, night,
When I go home tonight."

So he stepped off his saddle
To kiss her lips so sweet,
And with a penknife in her hand
She's wounded him full deep, deep
She's wounded him full deep.

"Why woundest me, false lady?
Why woundest me full sore?
There's not a doctor in the land
Can heal my mortal wound, wound,
Can heal my mortal wound."

She woke her maids from slumber
Three hours before the day,
"There's a dead man in my chamber
I would he were away, away,
I would he were away!"

Some took him by the lily-white hands
And others by the feet
And they threw him down in yonder well
Full fifty fathoms deep, deep
Full fifty fathoms deep.

"Lie there, lie there, you false young man
Lie there, lie there alone,
And let the one that you love best
Think you long a-coming home, home
A long a-coming home."

Then up and spoke the pretty bird
A-sitting in the tree,
"Why does my lady tarry
So long before the day, the day,
So long before the day?"

"Come down, come down you pretty bird
And sit upon my knee!
For a golden cage have I had hung
I will bestow to thee, to thee
I will bestow to thee."

"No I won't come down, false lady
Nor sit upon your knee
For you have slain your own true love
And I'm sure you would slay me, slay me
I'm sure you would slay me!"

"Well, if I had bow and arrow,
If I had shot and string,
Then I'd shoot you through the very heart
And sure no more you'd sing, sing
And sure no more you'd sing."

"Well, if you had bow and arrow,
If you had shot and string,
Then I'd shake my wings and away I'd fly
And you'd ne'er see me again, again,
You'd ne'er see me again!"


released September 5, 2011
Recorded August 2011, with the help of Rock Hopper Studios.




Elly Hadaway Derby, UK

Folk singer, ukulele player and songwriter. Mountain-powered, disabled, queer, Christo-Pagan. :-)

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