Child's Ballads/7

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
Earl Brand, no. 7
For more information see Wikipedia Earl Brand

Earl Brand[edit]

OH did ye ever hear o brave Earl Bran?
      Refrain: Ay lally, o lilly lally
He courted the king’s daughter of fair England.
      Refrain: All i the night sae early
She was scarcely fifteen years of age
Till sae boldly she came to his bedside.
‘O Earl Bran, fain wad I see
A pack of hounds let loose on the lea.’
‘O lady, I have no steeds but one,
And thou shalt ride, and I will run.’
‘O Earl Bran, my father has two,
And thou shall have the best o them a.’
They have ridden oer moss and moor,
And they met neither rich nor poor.
Until they met with old Carl Hood;
He comes for ill, but never for good.
‘Earl Bran, if ye love me,
Seize this old carl, and gar him die.’
‘O lady fair, it wad be sair,
To slay an old man that has grey hair.
‘O lady fair, I’ll no do sae;
I’ll gie him a pound, and let him gae.’
‘O where hae ye ridden this lee lang day?
Or where hae ye stolen this lady away?’
‘I have not ridden this lee lang day.
Nor yet have I stolen this lady away.
‘She is my only, my sick sister,
Whom I have brought from Winchester.’
‘If she be sick, and like to dead,
Why wears she the ribbon sae red?
‘If she be sick, and like to die,
Then why wears she the gold on high?’
When he came to his lady’s gate,
Sae rudely as he rapped at it.
‘O where’s the lady o this ha?’
‘She’s out with her maids to play at the ba.
‘Ha, ha, ha! ye are a’ mistaen:
Gae count your maidens oer again.
‘I saw her far beyond the moor,
Away to be the Earl o Bran’s whore.’
The father armed fifteen of his best men,
To bring his daughter back again.
Oer her left shoulder the lady looked then:
‘O Earl Bran, we both are tane.’
‘If they come on me ane by ane,
Ye may stand by and see them slain.
‘But if they come on me one and all,
Ye may stand by and see me fall.’
They have come on him ane by ane,
And he has killed them all but ane.
And that ane came behind his back,
And he’s gien him a deadly whack.
But for a’ sae wounded as Earl Bran was,
He has set his lady on her horse.
They rode till they came to the water o Doune,
And then he alighted to wash his wounds.
‘O Earl Bran, I see your heart’s blood!’
’Tis but the gleat o my scarlet hood.’
They rode till they came to his mother’s gate,
And sae rudely as he rapped at it.
‘O my son’s slain, my son’s put down,
And a’ for the sake of an English loun.’
‘O say not sae, my dear mother,
But marry her to my youngest brother.
* * * * *
‘This has not been the death o ane,
But it’s been that of fair seventeen.’
* * * * *






‘RISE up, rise up, now, Lord Douglas,’ she says,
‘And put on your armour so bright;
Let it never be said that a daughter of thine
Was married to a lord under night.
‘Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons,
And put on your armour so bright,
And take better care of your youngest sister,
For your eldest’s awa the last night.’
He’s mounted her on a milk-white steed,
And himself on a dapple grey,
With a bugelet horn hung down by his side,
And lightly they rode away.
Lord William lookit oer his left shoulder,
To see what he could see,
And there he spy’d her seven brethren bold,
Come riding over the lee.
‘Light down, light down, Lady Margret,’ he said,
‘And hold my steed in your hand,
Until that against your seven brethren bold,
And your father, I mak a stand.’
She held his steed in her milk-white hand,
And never shed one tear,
Until that she saw her seven brethren fa,
And her father hard fighting, who lovd her so dear.
‘O hold your hand, Lord William!’ she said,
‘For your strokes they are wondrous sair;
True lovers I can get many a ane,
But a father I can never get mair.’
O she’s taen out her handkerchief,
It was o the holland sae fine,
And aye she dighted her father’s bloody wounds,
That were redder than the wine.
‘O chuse, O chuse, Lady Margret,’ he said,
‘O whether will ye gang or bide?’
‘I’ll gang, I’ll gang, Lord William,’ she said,
‘For ye have left me no other guide.’
He’s lifted her on a milk-white steed,
And himself on a dapple grey,
With a bugelet horn hung down by his side,
And slowly they baith rade away.
O they rade on, and on they rade,
And a’ by the light of the moon,
Until they came to yon wan water,
And there they lighted down.
They lighted down to tak a drink
Of the spring that ran sae clear,
And down the stream ran his gude heart’s blood,
And sair she gan to fear.
‘Hold up, hold up, Lord William,’ she says,
‘For I fear that you are slain;’
‘’Tis naething but the shadow of my scarlet cloak,
That shines in the water sae plain.’
O they rade on, and on they rade,
And a’ by the light of the moon,
Until they cam to his mother’s ha door,
And there they lighted down.
‘Get up, get up, lady mother,’ he says,
‘Get up, and let me in!
Get up, get up, lady mother,’ he says,
‘For this night my fair lady I’ve win.
‘O mak my bed, lady mother,’ he says,
‘O mak it braid and deep,
And lay Lady Margret close at my back,
And the sounder I will sleep.’
Lord William was dead lang ere midnight,
Lady Margret lang ere day,
And all true lovers that go thegither,
May they have mair luck than they!
Lord William was buried in St. Mary’s kirk,
Lady Margret in Mary’s quire;
Out o the lady’s grave grew a bonny red rose,
And out o the knight’s a briar.
And they twa met, and they twa plat,
And fain they wad be near;
And a’ the warld might ken right weel
They were twa lovers dear.
But bye and rade the Black Douglas,
And wow but he was rough!
For he pulld up the bonny brier,
And flang’t in St. Mary’s Loch.






‘RISE up, rise up, my seven brave sons,
And dress in your armour so bright;
Earl Douglas will hae Lady Margaret awa
Before that it be light.
‘Arise, arise, my seven brave sons,
And dress in your armour so bright;
It shall never be said that a daughter of mine
Shall go with an earl or a knight.’
‘O will ye stand, fair Margaret,’ he says,
‘And hold my milk-white steed,
Till I fight your father and seven brethren,
In yonder pleasant mead?’
She stood and held his milk-white steed,
She stood trembling with fear,
Until she saw her seven brethren fall,
And her father that loved her dear.
‘Hold your hand, Earl Douglas,’ she says,
‘Your strokes are wonderous sair;
I may get sweethearts again enew,
But a father I’ll ne’er get mair.’
She took out a handkerchief
Was made o’ the cambrick fine,
And aye she wiped her father’s bloody wounds,
And the blood sprung up like wine.
‘Will ye go, fair Margaret?’ he said,
‘Will ye now go, or bide?’
‘Yes, I’ll go, sweet William,’ she said,
‘For ye’ve left me never a guide.
‘If I were to go to my mother’s house,
A welcome guest I would be;
But for the bloody deed that’s done this day
I’ll rather go with thee.’
He lifted her on a milk-white steed
And himself on a dapple gray;
They drew their hats out over their face,
And they both went weeping away.
They rode, they rode, and they better rode,
Till they came to yon water wan;
They lighted down to gie their horse a drink
Out of the running stream.
‘I am afraid, Earl Douglas,’ she said,
‘I am afraid ye are slain;’
I think I see your bonny heart’s blood
Running down the water wan.’
‘Oh no, oh no, fair Margaret,’ he said,
‘Oh no, I am not slain;
It is but the scad of my scarlet cloak
Runs down the water wan.’
He mounted her on a milk-white steed
And himself on a dapple gray,
And they have reached Earl Douglas’ gates
Before the break of day.
‘O rise, dear mother, and make my bed,
And make it braid and wide,
And lay me down to take my rest,
And at my back my bride.’
She has risen and made his bed,
She made it braid and wide;
She laid him down to take his rest,
And at his back his bride.
Lord William died ere it was day,
Lady Margaret on the morrow;
Lord William died through loss of blood and wounds,
Fair Margaret died with sorrow.
The one was buried in Mary’s kirk,
The other in Mary’s quire;
The one sprung up a bonnie bush,
And the other a bonny brier.
These twa grew, and these twa threw,
Till they came to the top,
And when they could na farther gae,
They coost the lovers’ knot.






‘SLEEPST thou or wakst thou, Lord Montgomerie,
Sleepst thou or wakst thou, I say?
Rise up, make a match for your eldest daughter,
For the youngest I carry away.’
‘Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons,
Dress yourselves in the armour sae fine;
For it ne’er shall be said that a churlish knight
Eer married a daughter of mine.’
* * * * *
‘Loup aff, loup aff, Lady Margaret,’ he said,
‘And hold my steed in your hand,
And I will go fight your seven brethren,
And your father, where they stand.’
Sometimes she gaed, sometimes she stood,
But never dropt a tear,
Until she saw her brethren all slain,
And her father who lovd her so dear.
‘Hold thy hand, sweet William,’ she says,
‘Thy blows are wondrous sore;
Sweethearts I may have many a one,
But a father I’ll never have more.’
O she’s taken her napkin frae her pocket,
Was made o the holland fine,
And ay as she dichted her father’s bloody wounds,
They sprang as red as the wine.
‘Two chooses, two chooses, Lady Margret,’ he says,
‘Two chooses I’ll make thee;
Whether to go back to your mother again,
Or go along with me.’
        ‘For to go home to my mother again,
An unwelcome guest I’d be;
But since my fate has ordered it so,
I’ll go along with thee.’
He has mounted her on a milk-white steed,
Himself on the dapple gray,
And blawn his horn baith loud and shill,
And it sounded far on their way.
They rode oer hill, they rode oer dale,
They rode oer mountains so high,
Until they came to that beautiful place
Where Sir William’s mother did lie.
‘Rise up, rise up, lady mother,’ he said,
‘Rise up, and make much o your own;
Rise up, rise up, lady mother,’ he said,
‘For his bride’s just new come home.’
Sir Willian he died in the middle o the night,
Lady Margaret died on the morrow;
Sir William he died of pure pure love,
Lady Margaret of grief and sorrow.






HE has lookit over his left shoulder,
And through his bonnie bridle rein,
And he spy’d her father and her seven bold brethren,
Come riding down the glen.
‘O hold my horse, Lady Margret,’ he said,
O hold my horse by the bonnie bridle rein,
Till I fight your father and seven bold brethren,
As they come riding down the glen.’
Some time she rade, and some time she gaed,
Till she that place did near,
And there she spy’d her seven bold brethren slain,
And her father who loved her so dear.
‘O hold you hand, sweet William,’ she said,
‘Your bull baits are wondrous sair;
Sweet-hearts I may get many a one,
But a father I will never get mair.’
She has taken a napkin from off her neck,
That was of the cambrick so fine,
And aye as she wiped her father’s bloody wounds,
The blood ran red as the wine.
* * * * *
He set her upon the milk-white steed,
Himself upon the brown;
He took a horn out of his pocket,
And they both went weeping along.






. . .
. . .
Sayes ‘Christ thee saue, good Child of Ell!
Christ saue thee and thy steede!
‘My father sayes he will [eat] noe meate,
Nor his drinke shall doe him noe good,
Till he haue slaine the Child of Ell,
And haue seene his harts blood.’
‘I wold I were in my sadle sett,
And a mile out of the towne;
I did not care for your father
And all his merry men!
‘I wold I were in my sadle sett,
And a little space him froe;
I did not care for your father
And all that long him to!’
He leaned ore his saddle bow
To kisse this lady good;
The tears that went them two betweene
Were blend water and blood.
He sett himselfe on one good steed,
This lady on a palfray,
And sett his litle horne to his mouth,
And roundlie he rode away.
He had not ridden past a mile,
A mile out of the towne,
. . .
. . .
Her father was readye with her seuen brether,
He said, ‘Sett thou my daughter downe!
For it ill beseemes thee, thou false churles sonne,
To carry her forth of this towne!’
But lowd thou lyest, Sir Iohn the knight,
Thou now doest lye of me;
A knight me gott, and a lady me bore;
Soe neuer did none by thee.
‘But light now downe, my lady gay,
Light downe and hold my horsse,
Whilest I and your father and your brether
Doe play vs at this crosse.
‘But light now downe, my owne trew loue,
And meeklye hold my steede,
Whilest your father [and your seuen brether] bold
* * * * *






* * * *
‘Gude Earl Brand, I long to see
      Refrain: Faldee faldee fal deediddle a dee
All your grey hounds running over the lea.’
      Refrain: And the brave knights in the valley
‘Gude lady fair, I have not a steed but one,
But you shall ride and I shall run.’
They’re ower moss and they’re ower mure,
And they saw neither rich nor pure.
Until that they came to auld Karl Hude;
He’s aye for ill and never for gude.
‘Gude Earl Brand, if ye love me,
Kill auld Karl Hude, and gar him die.’
‘O fair ladie, we’ll do better than sae:
Gie him a penny and let him gae.’
‘Gude Earl Brand, whare hae ye been,
Or whare hae ye stown this lady sheen?’
‘She’s not my lady, but my sick sister,
And she’s been at the wells of Meen.’
‘If she was sick, and very sair,
She wadna wear the red gold on her hair.
‘Or if she were sick, and like to be dead,
She wadna wear the ribbons red.’
He cam till he cam to her father’s gate,
And he has rappit furious thereat.
‘Where is the lady o this hall?’
‘She’s out wi her maidens, playing at the ball.’
‘If you’ll get me fyfteen wale wight men,
Sae fast as I’ll fetch her back again.’
She’s lookit ower her left collar-bane:
‘O gude Earl Brand, we baith are taen.’
‘Light down, light down, and hold my steed;
Change never your cheer till ye see me dead.
‘If they come on me man by man,
I’ll be very laith for to be taen.
‘But if they come on me one and all,
The sooner you will see me fall.’
O he has killd them all but one,
And wha was that but auld Karl Hude.
And he has come on him behind,
And put in him the deadly wound.
O he has set his lady on,
And he’s come whistling all along.
hGude Earl Brand, I see blood:’
‘It’s but the shade o my scarlet robe.’
They cam till they cam to the water aflood;
He’s lighted down and he’s wushen aff the blood.
His mother walks the floor alone:
‘O yonder does come my poor son.
‘He is both murderd and undone,
And all for the sake o an English loon.’
‘Say not sae, my dearest mother,
Marry her on my eldest brother.’
She set her fit up to the wa,
Faldee faldee fal deediddle adee
She’s fallen down dead amang them a’.
And the brave knights o the valley






Did you ever hear of good Earl Brand,
      Refrain: Aye lally an lilly lally
And the king’s daughter of fair Scotland?
      Refrain: And the braw knights o Airly
She was scarce fifteen years of age
When she came to Earl Brand’s bed.
      Refrain: Wi the braw knights o Airly
‘O Earl Brand, I fain wad see
Our grey hounds run over the lea.’
      Refrain: Mang the braw bents o Airly
‘O,’ says Earl Brand, ‘I’ve nae steads but one,
And you shall ride and I shall run.’
      Refrain: Oer the braw heights o Airly
‘O,’ says the lady, ‘I hae three,
And ye shall hae yeer choice for me.’
      Refrain: Of the braw steeds o Airly
So they lap on, and on they rade,
Till they came to auld Carle Hood.
      Refrain: Oer the braw hills o Airly
Carl Hood’s aye for ill, and he’s no for good,
He’s aye for ill, and he’s no for good.
      Refrain: Mang the braw hills o Airly
‘Where hae ye been hunting a’ day,
And where have ye stolen this fair may?’
      Refrain: I’ the braw nights sae airly
‘She is my sick sister dear,
New comd home from another sister.’
      Refrain: I the braw nights sae early
‘O,’ says the lady, ’if ye love me,
Gie him a penny fee and let him gae.’
I the braw nights sae early
He’s gane home to her father’s bower,
. . . . . .
. . . . .
‘Where is the lady o this ha?’
‘She’s out wi the young maids, playing at the ba.’
I the braw nights so early
‘No,’ says another, ’She’s riding oer the moor,
And a’ to be Earl Brand’s whore.’
I the braw nights so early
The king mounted fifteen weel armed men,
A’ to get Earl Brand taen.
I the braw hills so early
The lady looked over her white horse mane:
‘O Earl Brand, we will be taen.’
In the braw hills so early
He says, If they come one by one,
Ye’ll no see me so soon taen.
In the braw hills so early
So they came every one but one,
And he has killd them a’ but ane.
In the braw hills so early
And that one came behind his back,
And gave Earl Brand a deadly stroke.
In the braw nights of Airly
For as sair wounded as he was,
He lifted the lady on her horse.
In the braw nights so early
‘O Earl Brand, I see thy heart’s bluid!’
‘It’s but the shadow of my scarlet robe.’
I the braw nights so early
He came to his mother’s home;
. . . . . .
. . . . .
She looked out and cryd her son was gone,
And a’ for the sake [of] an English loon.
. . . . .
‘What will I do wi your lady fair?’
‘Marry her to my eldest brother.’
The brawest knight i Airly






‘Rise up, rise up, Lord Douglas,’ she said,
‘And draw to your arms so bright;
Let it never be said a daughter of yours
Shall go with a lord or a knight.
‘Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons,
And draw to your armour so bright;
Let it never be said a sister of yours
Shall go with a lord or a night.’
He looked over his left shoulder,
To see what he could see,
And there he spy’d her seven brethren bold,
And her father that lov’d her tenderly.
‘Light down, light down, Lady Margret,’ he said,
‘And hold my steed in thy hand.
That I may go fitht with your seven brethren bold,
And your father who’s just at hand.’
O there she stood, and bitter she stood,
And never did shed a tear,
Till once she saw her seven brethren slain,
And her father she lovd so dear.
‘Hold, hold your hand, William,’ she said,
‘For thy strokes are wondrous sore;
For sweethearts I may get many a one,
But a father I neer will get more.’
She took out a handkerchief of holland so fine
And wip’d her father’s bloody wound,
Which ran more clear than the red wine,
And forked on the cold ground.
‘O chuse you, chuse you, Margret,’ he said,
‘Whether you will go or bide!’
‘I must go with you, Lord William,’ she said,
‘Since you’ve left me no other guide.’
He lifted her on a milk-white steed,
And himself on a dapple grey,
With a blue gilded horn hanging by his side,
And they slowly both rode away.
Away they rode, and better they rode,
Till they came to yonder sand,
Till once they came to yon river side,
And ther they lighted down.
They lighted down to take a drink
Of the spring that ran so clear,
And there she spy’d his bonny heart’s blood,
A running down the stream.
‘Hold up, hold up, Lord William,’ she says,
‘For I fear that you are slain;’
‘’Tis nought but the shade of my scarlet clothes,
That is sparkling down the stream.’
He lifted her on a milk-white steed,
And himself on a dapple grey,
With a blue gilded horn hanging by his side,
And slowly they rode away.
Ay they rode, and better they rode,
Till they came to his mother’s bower;
Till once they came to his mother’s bower,
And down they lighted there.
‘O mother, mother, make my bed,
And make it saft and fine,
And lay my lady close at my back,
That I may sleep most sound.’
Lord William he died eer middle o the night,
Lady Margret long before the morrow;
Lord William he died for pure true love,
And Lady Margret died for sorrow.
Lord William was bury’d in Lady Mary’s kirk,
The other in Saint Mary’s quire;
Out of William’s grave sprang a red rose,
And out of Margret’s a briar.
And ay they grew, and ay they threw,
As they wad fain been near;
And by this you may ken right well
They were twa lovers dear.