Sheath and Knife Traditional Folk

Released October 27, 2018

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Composition

PLUS
James Fraser ("offthewall")
South Shields near Newcastle Tyneside United Kingdom
Other releases
Traditional song arranged by James Fraser

Sound Recording

PLUS
James Fraser ("offthewall")
South Shields near Newcastle Tyneside United Kingdom
Other releases
All instruments, vocal, production.
Artist's Notes

This is yet another of my finds from the Child Ballads (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_Ballads)

 Sheath and Knife  (Child #16)

A woman is pregnant with her brother's child. He takes her to the greenwood to have her child, but she dies (or he kills her at her request). He buries her and laments her death.

The words of this version are more or less as collected by William Motherwell in Ayrshire in 1825. Robert Burns noted the tune during the 1790s.

Lyrics

Sheath and Knife                         (Child #16)

 

It is talked the world all over,

The king's daughter goes with child to her brother.

Go down to the broom no more.

 

He's brought his sister to the deer park,

Brought his bow and arrows fast to his back.

Go down to the broom no more.

 

She said: "When you hear me loudly cry,

Shoot your arrow and there let me lie."

Go down to the broom no more.

 

"And when you see me lying dead,

Bury me with a turf at my head."

Go down to the broom no more.

 

Now when he heard his sister cry

His silver arrow he did let fly.

Go down to the broom no more.

 

He's dug a grave that was long and deep,

And buried his sister with her babe at her feet.

Go down to the broom no more.

 

When he came to his father's hall

There were music and minstrels and dancing and all.

Go down to the broom no more.

 

"Son, oh son, what makes you so sad?

At such a meeting you might be glad."

Go down to the broom no more.

 

"Father, oh father, I've lost a knife

I loved as dear as I loved my life."

Go down to the broom no more.

 

"And I have lost a finer thing,

I lost the sheath that the knife was in."

Go down to the broom no more.

 

"All the ships that sailed the sea

Won't bring such sheath and a knife to me."

Go down to the broom no more.