Mary Hamilton

Mary Hamilton   Trad arr. Block

“Last night there were four Marys,
This night there’ll be but three,
There was Mary Beaton, and Mary Seaton,
And Mary Carmichael, and me”

Oh word is to the kitchens gone
And word is to the hall,
And word is up to Madam the Queen
And that’s the worst of all

And word is to the country gone
And out to Glasgow town
That Mary Hamilton’s born a babe
To the Stuart of highest renown

“Arise, arise, Mary Hamilton,
Arise and tell to your queen,
What thou hast done with thy wee babe
That I saw and heard weeping yestreen”

“I put him in a tiny boat,
And cast him out to sea,
That he might sink or he might swim,
But he’d never come back to me

Oh, little did my mother think
When first she cradled me,
The lands I was to travel in
And the death I was to see

How often have I dressed my Queen
And put the gold on her hair,
And the only reward I find for this,
The gallows to be my share.”

“Cast off, cast off my gown,” she cried,
“But let my petticoat be,
And tie a kerchief around my eyes;
The gallows I would not see.”

Then by did come the King himself,
Looked up with a pitiful eye,
“Come down, come down, Mary Hamilton,
This night you’ll dine with me.”

“Oh, hold your tongue, my sovereign liege,
And let your folly be;
For if you’d a mind to save my life
You’d never have so shamed me

“Oh happy, happy is the maid
That’s born of beauty free
My rosy cheeks and twinkling eyes
Have been the ruin of me

“Last night there were four Marys,
This night there’ll be but three,
There was Mary Beaton, and Mary Seaton,
And Mary Carmichael, and me”

%d bloggers like this: