Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale

John Skelton

Music version:

  Ay, beshrew you! by my fay,
  These wanton clerks be nice alway!
  Avaunt, avaunt, my popinjay!
  What, will ye do nothing but play?
5 Tilly, vally, straw, let be I say!
       Gup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
       With Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale.
  By God, ye be a pretty pode,
  And I love you an whole cart-load.
10 Straw, James Foder, ye play the fode,
  I am no hackney for your rod:
  Go watch a bull, your back is broad!
       Gup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
       With Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale.
15 Ywis ye deal uncourteously;
  What, would ye frumple me? now fy!
  What, and ye shall be my pigesnye?
  By Christ, ye shall not, no hardely:
  I will not be japèd bodily!
20      Gup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
       With Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale.
  Walk forth your way, ye cost me nought;
  Now have I found that I have sought:
  The best cheap flesh that I ever bought.
25 Yet, for his love that all hath wrought,
  Wed me, or else I die for thought.
       Gup, Christian Clout, your breath is stale!
       Go, Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale!
       Gup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
       With Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale.

The Unquiet Grave


V.C. Clinton-Baddeley and Pauline Letts

Music versions:


Jean Ritchie

Kate Rusby

Cairde na Gael

  The Wind doth blow today, my love
  And a few small drops of rain;
  I never had but one true-love,
  In cold grave she was lain.
5 I'll do as much for my true-love,
  As any young man may;
  I'll sit and mourn all at her grave
  For a twelvemonth and a day.
  The twelvemonth and a day being up,
10 The dead began to speak:
  'Oh who sits weeping on my grave,
  And will not let me sleep?
  'Tis I, my love, sits on your grave,
  And will not let you sleep;
15 For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips,
  And that is all I seek.
  You crave one kiss of my clay-cold lips;
  But my breath smells earthly strong;
  If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
20 Your time will not be long.
  "Tis down in younder garden green,
  Love, where we used to walk,
  The finest flower that ere was seen
  Is withered to a stalk.
25 The stalk is withered dry, my love,
  So will our hearts decay;
  So make yourself content, my love,
  Till God calls you away.

Bonny Barbara Allan


Recited version by Kathleen Danson Read

Musical version of Barbara Allen sung by Sarah Makem

IT was in and about the Martinmas time,  
  When the green leaves were a falling,  
That Sir John Græme, in the West Country,  
  Fell in love with Barbara Allan.  
He sent his man down through the town, 5
  To the place where she was dwelling:  
“O haste and come to my master dear,  
  Gin ye be Barbara Allan.”  
O hooly, hooly rose she up,  
  To the place where he was lying, 10
And when she drew the curtain by,  
  “Young man, I think you’re dying.”  
“O it’s I’m sick, and very, very sick,  
  And ’tis a’ for Barbara Allan:”  
“O the better for me ye’s never be, 15
  Tho your heart’s blood were a spilling.  
“O dinna ye mind, young man,” said she,  
  “When ye was in the tavern a drinking,  
That ye made the healths gae round and round,  
  And slighted Barbara Allan?” 20
He turned his face unto the wall,  
  And death was with him dealing:  
“Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all,  
  And be kind to Barbara Allan.”  
And slowly, slowly raise she up, 25
  And slowly, slowly left him,  
And sighing said, she coud not stay,  
  Since death of life had reft him.  
She had not gane a mile but twa,  
  When she heard the dead-bell ringing, 30
And every jow that the dead-bell gied,  
  It cry’d, Woe to Barbara Allan!  
“O mother, mother, make my bed!  
  O make it saft and narrow!  
Since my love died for me to-day, 35
  I’ll die for him to-morrow.”

They Flee from Me


The Burning Babe


Recitation by Allen Ginsberg

Version by Sting

Epitaph on Elizabeth L.H.


Upon Julia's Clothes