Oh, come, all you lads and lassies
And listen to me a while
And I'll sing for you a verse or two
That will cause you all to smile
It's all about a fair young man
I'm going to tell you now
How he lately came acourtin' of
The maid of the sweet brown knowe

Said he, "My pretty fair maid
Will you come along with me?
We'll both go off together
And it's married we will be
We'll join our hands in wedlock bands
I'm speaking to you now
And I'll do my best endeavor for
The maid of the sweet brown knowe"

This fair and fickle young thing
She knew not what to say
Her eyes did shine like silver bright
And merrily did play
She said, "Young man, your love's subdued
For I'm not ready now
And I'll spend another season at
The foot of the sweet brown knowe

Said he, "My pretty fair maid
How can you answer so?
Look down on yonder valley
Where my verdant crops do grow
Look down on yonder valley
Where horses, men and plow
Are at their daily labor for
The maid of the sweet brown knowe"

"If they're at their daily labor
Kind sir, it is not for me
For I've heard of your behavior
For I have indeed," said she
"There is an inn where you call in
I've heard the people say
And you rap and you call and you pay for all
And go home at the break of day

"If I rap and I call and I pay for all
The money it is my own
And I'll never spend your fortune
For I hear that you have none
You thought you had my poor heart broke
Talking with me now
But I'll leave you where I found you
At the foot of the sweet brown knowe"

The "Knowe" mentioned in the title is a small hill or knoll. The song is a warning to all fair maids not to try and run their men's lives - especially before they have caught them.