Lissa Schneckenburger: New England fiddler and folk singer


Little Musgrove and Lady Barnswell

source: “British Ballads From Maine: The Development of Popular Songs with Texts and Airs” by Phillips Barry, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, and Mary Winslow Smyth, 1929

There were nine ladies of the East
Assembled at the ball
The first to come in was Lord Barnswell’s Lady
The fairest of them all
She cast her eyes on Little Musgrove
And Little Musgrove on she
How much would you take you Little Musgrove
To tarry all night with me

To tarry all night with you fair lady
Would cause no end of war
I know you are Lord Barnswell’s lady
By the gold rings you wear
So what if I am Lord Barnswell’s lady
This night I mean to beguile
For he is away to fair old England
He won’t be back for a while

What is it that I hear
Says Little Musgrove says he
No no it is but the wind
As it stirs the leaves on the tree
Lie still lie still you Little Musgrove
And shield me from the cold
It’s not it’s not but a little shepherd
As he drives his sheep to the fold

Then up came Barnswell and his men
And pounded at the ring
Rise up rise up you Little Musgrove
Rise up and let me in
He’s taken off the coverlet
He’s taken off the sheets
Oh now oh now my Little Musgrove
Do you find my lady sweet

Rise up rise up you Little Musgrove
And you your clothes put on
For it should never be said of Barnswell
That he killed a naked man
The very first blow that Musgrove gave
He wounded Lord Barnswell sore
The very first blow that Lord Barnswell gave
And Little Musgrove was no more

She lifted up his dying head
And kissed him from cheek to chin
I’d rather have you oh Little Musgrove
Than Banswell and all his kin
He’s turned around to his fair lady
And stabbed her to the heart
Since in this life you have lovers been
In death you shall not part

© 2008 :: Lissa Schneckenburger | website :: irislines, LLC