tannahill weavers

Lady Dysie

Traditional, arranged by the Tannahill Weavers


It is a little difficult to categorize this song.  Probably the easiest way out is to call it a song of medieval Scottish birth control. There were two methods of this - the first, very safe, was abstention; the second, not safe at all due to it's occurance
after the deed was done, was to kill the man involved.  This ensured he didn't do it again.

Strangely enough, this song comes from a region of Scotland where the population has remained the same for 200 years. Every time a child is born, a man leaves town.


There once was a King, a very great King
And a King o' muckle fame
He had a lovely dochter fair
Lady Dysie was her name
And word's gane up, and word's gane doon
And word's gane tae the King
Lady Dysie she gans richt round about
And tae whom they dinnae ken

When bells were rung and mass was sung
And they've a' gan tae their rest
The King's gan tae Lady Dysie's bower
And he wasnae a welcome guest
He's pu'd the curtains round about
And there he sat him doon
Gae tell me Lady Dysie he said
What gars ye gan sae roon?

Is it tae a Lord or tae a Laird
Or a Baron o' high degree?
Gae tell me Lady Dysie he said
And I pray thee dinnae lee
Oh it's no' tae a Lord and it's no' tae a Laird
Nor tae onie Barony
But it's tae Roger the kitchen boy
Wha ca's sae aye tae me

He's ca'd his merry men oot by one
By one, by twa, by three
And last came Roger the kitchen boy
And he's dashed him tae a tree
And he's ta'en oot that bonnie boy's heart
Pit it in a cup of gold
And he's sent it tae Lady Dysie's bower
Because she's been sae bold

Fareweel Faither, Fareweel Mither
Fareweel tae comfort and joy
He died for me, I'll die for him
Though he was but a kitchen boy
Fareweel Mither, Fareweel Faither
Fareweel my brithers three
Ye thocht ye had taken the life o' yin
But ye've taken the lives o' three



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