An English traditional, in the style of Paul Simon's "Graceland"
Sweet William awoke one May morning, and dressed himself in blue. We want you to tell us something about the long love between Lady Margaret and you. Now, I know nothin’ of Lady Margaret’s love; I know she don’t love me. But tomorrow morning, at 8 AM, Lady Margaret my bride shall see. Now, Lady Margaret stood in her own hall door, a’combing down her hair. She saw Sweet William come a’riding by, bringing his new love near. She first threw down her ivory comb, she tied up her long yellow hair, then out of that hall went that Lady gay, to never return any more. It was late that night, when William was in bed, and most all men was asleep. Lady Margaret’s ghost came to Sweet William’s side, and stood at his own bedfeet. She asked, “Now, how do you like your snow-white pillow? How do you like your sheet? And how do you like that new-found Bride, who’s a’lying in your arms asleep?” And he said, “Very well, now, very well do I like my pillow. Better do I like my sheet. But the best one of all is the pretty little girl, whose a’standing at my own bedfeet.” Now early next morning, when William awoke, and most all men was at work, Sweet William said he was troubled in his head by the dreams that he dreamed last night: “Such dreams, such dreams I do not like! Such dreams they are no good! I dreamed that my hall was filled with wild swine and Lady Margaret was drowning in blood.” So he called his comrades to his side and numbered them One, Two, Three: “And the last one of you, go and tell my bride Lady Margaret I’ve gone to see.” So William rode till he came to Lady Margaret’s door, he pulled all on the ring. Now there was none so ready as Lady Margaret’s brother to rise and let him in. And William asked, “Now is she in the garden? Or is she in the hall? Or is she in the upper parlor, among them ladies all?” And Margaret’s brother replied, “She neither is the garden, nor yet unto the hall, but yonder she lies in her cold coffin with her pale face turned to the wall.” And William cried, “Now, turn down, turn down them ivory sheets, made of linen, so fine! And let me kiss them cold-clay lips, which so often did kiss mine.” So William kissed her on her lily-white cheek, and he kissed her on her chin, and he kissed her on her cold-clay lips and his heart was crushed right in. Lady Margaret was buried in the old churchyard, Sweet William was laid a’nigh her. And out of her grave grew a red, red rose, and out of his—a briar. They grew and they grew up the old church tower, till they could grow no higher. They grew and they twined in a true-lover’s knot—the red rose around the briar.
from Drawn Onward
released September 1, 2011
Jordan O'Jordan: vocals, banjo, percussion.
Recorded and mixed by Bob Schwenkler.
Mastered by Mel Dettmer.
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