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There was a lady in the west
You scarce would find her marrow
She was courted by nine gentlemen
And a ploughboy lad in Yarrow.

These nine sat drinking at the wine
As oft they'd done before-O
And they made a vow among themselves
To fight with him on Yarrow.

She's washed his face, she's combed his hair
As oft she's done before-O
Gave him a brand down by his side
To fight for her on Yarrow.

As he came o'er yon high high hill
And down the glen so narrow
Nine armed men lay waiting him
Upon the braes of Yarrow.

It's three he wounded, three withdrew
And three he's killed on Yarrow
Till her brother John stepped in behind
And pierced his body thorough.

O father dear, I dreamed a dream
I fear it will prove sorrow
I dreamed I was pulling heather green
On the dowie dens of Yarrow.

O daughter dear I read your dream
To you it will prove sorrow
Your true love John lies dead and slain
On the dowie dens of Yarrow.

As she went o'er yon high high hill
And down the glen so narrow
Twas there she found her true love John
Lying cold and dead on Yarrow.

She washed his face, she combed his hair
As she had done before-O
And she kissed the blood from off his wounds
On the dowie dens of Yarrow.

Her hair it was three quarters long
The colour it was yellow
She tied it round his middle small
And carried him home to Yarrow.

O daughter dear, dry up your tears
And weep no more for sorrow
I'll wed you to a better man
Than the ploughboy lad of Yarrow.

O father dear you've seven sons
You may wed them all tomorrow
But the fairest flower among them all
Was the lad I wooed on Yarrow.

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Source: The Seeds of Love, Stephen Sedley, EFDSS,1967

Collected from John Potts,Peebleshire by Lucy Broadwood

The tune is often associated with "Andrew Lammie/The Trumpeter of Fyvie", Child 233

The Sedley set is, as usual, a collation from several quite separate sources; in this case, Child, Greig and MacColl. Regrettably (and as usual), he didn't specify; at all events, it is not, as presented, a traditional text. The tune was noted by Lucy Broadwood from John Potts at Whitehope Farm, Peeblesshire, in 1907; and was first published in The Journal of the Folk-Song Society, vol.V, issue 19, 1905.

The Corries, too, seem to have recorded a "mix-and match" collation from various different sources, so far as I can tell; probably based on Child 214E (itself probably a collation from other sources), which was printed in Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. They began it with

Late at e'en, drinking the wine.

Roud: 13 (Search Roud index at VWML)
Child: 214

Related Songs:  Eternal Life (melodic) The Dewy Dells of Yarrow. (thematic)

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