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(learned in the 1960s from Alfred Deller, John Jacob Niles, and Chris Wells, three melodies)

(music to go here)

Queen Jane lay in labour, for six weeks or more
The womenfolk were weary, the midwives gave o'er
Oh women, oh women, as women ye be
Pray cut my side open and save my baby!

Oh, royal Queen Jane, that thing may not be,
We'll send for King Henry to come unto thee.
King Henry was sent for with horseback and speed,
To come to Queen Jane in the hour of her need.

He came to her bedside, said, How comes this, my flower?
I come to thee direct, in less time than a hour.
King Henry leaned over, and sate upon her bed.
What's the matter with my flower, makes her eyes so red?

King Henry, King Henry, will you take me to be,
And rip my sides open, and save my baby?
Oh, no, Queen Jane, that never can be.
If I lose my fair flower, I'll lose my baby.

Queen Jane, she turned over and fell into a swound
Her sides were pierced open, and her baby was found.
How bright was the morning, how yellow were the bed,
How costly the shroud, Queen Jane were wrapped in!

The baby was christened with joy and much mirth (the very same day)
While his dear dead mother lay cold in the earth (a-mould'ring lay)
The trumpets in mourning so sadly did sound,
And the pikes and the muskets did trail on the ground.

There was ringing and singing, and mourning all day
The princess Elizabeth went weeping away.
They mourned in the kitchen, they mourned in the ha'
But royal King Henry mourned longest of a'.
And six went before, and six carried her along,
King Henry, he followed with his black mourning on.

King Henry wept, and wrung his hands till they were sore
The flower of England will ne'er be no more.
King Henry, he passed by the river with his head in his hand
My merrie England is a sorrowful land.

(music to go here)

(music to go here)

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)