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(old Scottish ballad learned from Allen Kaplan; also found in Child ballads)

(music to go here)

The king sits in Dumfermline toon,
Drinkin' the bluidred wine,
Ah, wheer will I get a skeely skipper
Tae sail this ship o' mine?

Then up and spak an eldern knicht,
Sat at the king's richt knee,
Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That ever sailed the sea.

Our king has written a braid letter
And seal'd it wi' his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens
Wha was walkin' on the Strand.

The first word that Sir Patrick read,
A loud lauch lauched he;
The neist word that Sir Patrick read,
The tear blinded his e'e.

O, wha is this has done this dedd,
And tauld the king o' me?
To send us out this time o' year,
To sail upon the sea.

Be't wind, be't weet, be't hail, be't sleet
Our ship must sail the faem,
The king's daughter o' Noroway,
'Tis we maun fetch her hame.

They hoised their sails on a Monday morn,
Wi' a' the speed they may;
And they ha' landed in Noroway
Upon a Wodensday.

Mak' ready, mak' ready, my merry men al'
Our gude ship sails the morn,
O say not so, my master dear,
For I fear a deadly storm.

I saw the new moon late yestre'en,
Wi' the auld moon in her arms,
And if we gang tae sea, master,
I fear we'll come tae harm.

They had nae sailed a league, a league,
A league, but barely three
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew hard,
And gurly grew the sea.

The ankers brak, and the topmast lap,
It was sic' a deadly storm,
And the waves came ovre the broken ship
Till all her sides were torn.

Go fetch a web o' the silken claith,
Anither o' the twine,
And wap them into our gude ship's side
And let nae the sea come in.

They fetched a web o' the silken claith,
Anither o' the twine,
And they wapp'd them round that gude ship's side,
But still the sea came in.

O, laith, laith were our gude Scots lairds
To wet their cork-heel'd shoon;
But lang or a' the play was play'd,
They wat their hats aboon.

And mony was the feather bed
That fluttered on the faem;
And mony was the gude laird's son
That never mair cam' hame.

O, lang, lang may their ladies sit
Wi' their fans all in their hand,
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens
Come sailin' tae the Strand.

And lang, lang may the maidens sit,
Wi' their gowd kames in their hair,
A-waitin' for their ain dear loves,
For they'll see them nae mair.

Half-owre, half-owre to Aberdour,
'Tis fi'ty fathoms deep,
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi' the Scots lairds at his feet.

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)