Lyrics

There were three ladies played at ball
Hey awa' wi' the lindsay o'
But a knight came by, played o'er them all
Doon by Greenwood side e' o'

Fair sir and ye' my favour win
Hey awa' wi' the lindsay o'
Ye maun gain consent o'er all ma' kin
Doon by Greenwood side e' o'

He gained consent frae all her kin
Hey awa' wi' the lindsay o'
He forgot tae speak tae her brother John
Doon by Greenwood side e' o'

John took a knife baith long and sharp
Hey awa' wi' the lindsay o'
He stabbed the bonnie bride right tae her heart
Doon by Greenwood side e' o'

Oh lead me tae yon low low hill
Hey awa' wi' the lindsay o'
Well lay me down and I'll mak my will
Doon by Greenwood side e' o'

What will ye gi' tae yer brother John
Hey awa' wi' the lindsay o'
The gallows tree for tae hang him on
Doon by Greenwood side e' o'

This dark ballad exists in many forms and dates back at least 400 years. Themes of jealousy, murder and retribution are common in ballad literature, as are tales concerning travelling noblemen trying to gain the favours of local maidens. The repeated second and fourth lines are known as the burden, an early form of chorus.

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