Child's Ballads/13

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
Edward, no. 13
"Edward" is a traditional murder ballad, in which a mother questions her son about the blood on his sword, and he finally admits that he has killed his father. For more information, see Wikipedia: Edward (ballad).

Edward[edit]

‘WHAT bluid’s that on thy coat lap,
Son Davie, son Davie?
What bluid’s that on thy coat lap?
And the truth come tell to me.’
‘It is the bluid of my great hawk,
Mother lady, mother lady:
It is the bluid of my great hawk,
And the truth I have told to thee.’
‘Hawk’s bluid was neer sae red,
Son Davie, son Davie:
Hawk’s bluid was neer sae red,
And the truth come tell to me.’
‘It is the bluid of my greyhound,
Mother lady, mother lady:
It is the bluid of my greyhound,
And it wadna rin for me.’
‘Hound’s bluid was neer sae red,
Son Davie, son Davie:
Hound’s bluid was neer sae red,
And the truth come tell to me.’
‘It is the bluid o my brither John,
Mother lady, mother lady:
It is the bluid o my brither John,
And the truth I have told to thee.’
‘What about did the plea begin,
Son Davie, son Davie?’
‘It began about the cutting of a willow wand
That would never been a tree.’
‘What death dost thou desire to die,
Son Davie, son Davie?
What death dost thou desire to die?
And the truth come tell to me.’
‘I’ll set my foot in a bottomless ship,
Mother lady, mother lady:
I’ll set my foot in a bottomless ship,
And ye’ll never see mair o me.’
‘What wilt thou leave to thy poor wife,
Son Davie, son Davie?’
‘Grief and sorrow all her life,
And she’ll never see mair o me.’
‘What wilt thou leave to thy old son,
Son Davie, son Davie?’
‘I’ll leave him the weary world to wander up and down,
And he’ll never get mair o me.’
‘What wilt thou leave to thy mother dear,
Son Davie, son Davie?’
‘A fire o coals to burn her, wi hearty cheer,
And she’ll never get mair o me.’






‘WHY dois your brand sae drap wi bluid,
Edward, Edward,
Why dois your brand sae drap wi bluid,
And why sae sad gang yee O?’
‘O I hae killed my hauke sae guid,
Mither, mither,
O I hae killed my hauke sae guid,
And I had nae mair bot hee O.’
‘Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,
Edward, Edward,
Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,
My deir son I tell thee O.’
‘O I hae killed my reid-roan steid,
Mither, mither,
O I hae killed my reid-roan steid,
That erst was sae fair and frie O.’
‘Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair,
Edward, Edward,
Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair,
Sum other dule ye drie O.’
‘O I hae killed my fadir deir,
Mither, mither,
O I hae killed my fadir deir,
Alas, and wae is mee O!’
‘And whatten penance wul ye drie, for that,
Edward, Edward?
And whatten penance will ye drie for that?
My deir son, now tell me O.’
‘Ile set my feit in yonder boat,
Mither, mither,
Ile set my feit in yonder boat,
And Ile fare ovir the sea O.’
‘And what wul ye doe wi your towirs and your ha,
Edward, Edward?
And what wul ye doe wi your towirs and your ha,
That were sae fair to see O?’
‘Ile let thame stand tul they doun fa,
Mither, mither,
Ile let thame stand tul they doun fa,
For here nevir mair maun I bee O.’
‘And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your wife,
Edward, Edward?
And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your wife,
Whan ye gang ovir the sea O?’
‘The warldis room, late them beg thrae life,
Mither, mither,
The warldis room, late them beg thrae life,
For thame nevir mair wul I see O.’
‘And what wul ye leive to your ain mither deir,
Edward, Edward?
And what wul ye leive to your ain mither deir?
My deir son, now tell me O.’
‘The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
Mither, mither,
The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
Sic counseils ye gave to me O.’






‘O WHAT did the fray begin about?
My son, come tell to me:’
‘It began about the breaking o the bonny hazel wand,
And a penny wad hae bought the tree.’