Come all ye lads and lassies and listen to me a while,
And I’ll sing for you a verse or two will cause you all to smile;
It’s all about a young man, and I’m going to tell you now,
How he lately came a-courting of the Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe.
Said he, “My pretty fair maid, will you come along with me,
We’ll both go off together, and married we will be;
We’ll join our hands in wedlock bands, I’m speaking to you now,
And I’ll do my best endeavour for the Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe.”
This fair and fickle young thing, she knew not what to say,
Her eyes did shine like silver bright and merrily did play;
She said, “Young man, your love subdue, for I am not ready now,
And I’ll spend another season at the foot of the Sweet Brown Knowe.
Said he, “My pretty fair maid, how can you say so,
Look down in yonder valley where my crops do gently grow,
Look down in yonder valley where my horses and my plough
Are at their daily labour for the Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe.”
“If they’re at their daily labour, kind sir, it’s not for me,
For I’ve heard of your behaviour, I have, indeed,” she said;
“There is an Inn where you call in, I have heard the people say,
Where you rap and call and pay for all, and go home at the break of day.”
“If I rap and call and pay for all, the money is all my own,
And I’ll never spend your fortune, for I hear you have got none.
You thought you had my poor heart broke in talking with me now,
But I’ll leave you where I found you, at the foot of the Sweet Brown Knowe.”