Willie O'winsbury Lyrics

The king had been a prisoner
And a prisoner long in Spain,
And Willie of the Winsbury
Has lain long with his daughter at hame.
As I looked over the castle wall
To see what I could see,
There I saw my father's ship
|: Come a-sailing home to me. :|

“What ails ye, what ails ye, my daughter Janet,
Why you look so pale and wan?
Oh have you had any sore sickness
Or yet been sleeping with a man?”
“What's the matter, my daughter Jane,
That you look so pale and wan,
Have you had some sore sickness
In |: lying with some young man?” :|

“I have not had any sore sickness
Nor yet been sleeping wi' a man.
It is for you, my father dear,
For biding so long in Spain.”
“Oh, I've had no sore sickness
In lying with no young man,
But I have a grieve to my very, very heart
|: That you've been so long at sea.” :|

“Cast off, cast off your berry-brown gown,
You stand naked upon the stane,
That I may ken ye by your shape
Whether you be a maiden or none.”

And she's cast off her berry-brown gown,
She stood naked upon the stone.
Her apron was low and her haunches were round,
Her face was pale and wan.
Then she's took off her gown of green,
She's hanged it against the wall.
Her apron strings they would not untie
|: She was three quarters gone. :|

“Oh, was it with a lord or a duke or a knight
Or a man of birth and fame?
Or was it with one of me serving men
That's lately come out of Spain?”
“It is to a noble gentleman
Or to one of low degree?
Or is it to some jolly, jolly tar
|: That sails in along of me?” :|

“No, it wasn't with a lord, nor a duke, nor a knight,
Or a man of birth and fame.
But it was with Willie of Winsbury,
I could bide no longer alone.”
“ 't is to no noble gentleman
Nor to one of low degree;
But it is to that jolly, jolly tar
That sails in along of thee,
Aye, he sails along of thee.”

And the king he has called on his merry men all,
By thirty and by three,
Says, “Fetch me this Willie of Winsbury,
For hanged he shall be.”
So he's called up his merry, merry men,
By one, by two, by three,
And Tom the Barber that used to come first,
|: The last come in was he. :|

But when he came the king before,
He was clad all in the red silk.
His hair was like the strands of gold,
His skin was as white as the milk.
In came Tom the Barber bold,
He was dressed all in silk.
His eyes did shine like morning sun,
His skin it was like the milk,
Oh, his skin was like the milk.

“And it is no wonder,” said the king,
“That my daughter's love you did win.
If I was a woman, as I am a man,
My bedfellow you would have been.”

“And will you marry my daughter Janet
By the truth of your right hand?
Oh, will you marry my daughter Janet?
I'll make you the lord of my land.”
“Will you marry my daughter Jane?
Will you take her by the hand?
Will you prove a father unto that child,
The |: heir to all my land?” :|

“Yes, I will marry your daughter Janet
By the truth of my right hand.
Yes I will marry your daughter Janet,
But I'll not be the lord of your land.”
“Yes, I'll marry your daughter Jane,
I'll take her by the hand.
I'll prove a father unto that child,
But I value not your land,
No, I value not your land.

And he's mounted her on a milk-white steed
And himself on a dapple grey.
He has made her the lady of as much land
As she'll ride in a long summer's day.

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Songwriter(s): Richard John
Record Label(s): 1999 Topic
Official lyrics by

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