Bonny swans


A farmer there lived in the north country
~ hey hey-ho (and) a-bonny-o ~
And he had daughters one, two, three
~ the swan that swims a-bonny-o ~

These daughters they walked by the river's brim
The eldest pushed the youngest in

Oh sister, oh sister, pray lend me your hand
And I will give you house and land

I'll give you neither hand nor glove
Unless you give me your own true love

Sometimes she sank, sometimes she swam
Until she came to a miller's dam

The miller's daughter, dressed in red
She went for some water to make some bread

Oh father, oh daddy, here swims a swan
It's very like a gentle woman

They lay her on the bank to dry
There came a harper passing by

He made harp pins of her fingers fair
He made harp strings of her golden hair

He made a harp of her breast bone
And straight it began to play alone

He brought it to her father's hall
And there was the court, assembled all

He laid the harp upon a stone
And straight it began to play lone

And there does sit my father the King
And yonder sits my mother the Queen

And there does sit my brother Hugh
And by him William, sweet and true

And there does sit my false sister, Anne
Who drowned me for the sake of a man