Sir Patrick Spens Lyrics

Oh the king sits in Dunfermline town
A-drinking the blood-red wine,
Says, “Where will I get me a brave young skipper
Sail this ship of mine?”
The King sits in Dumferlane toon
A-drinkin' at the wine,
And he has called for the best skipper
In Fife and all the land.

And up and spoke an old, old man,
Who sat at the king's right knee.
He says, “Patrick Spens is the very best sailor
Who ever did sail on the sea.”
Then out there spoke an old carle,
Sat by the King's own knee,
Says, “Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That ever sailed the sea”

So the king he has written him a long, long letter
Sealed it with his hand,
And he sent it along to Patrick Spens
Who was walking down on the sand.
The King has written a long letter
And signed it with his own hand,
And sent it to young Patrick Spens
Was walking on Leith strand.

“To Norowa, to Norowa,
To Norowa over the foam.
The King's daughter of Norowa,
Tis you must bring her home.”

And the very first line that Patrick read
So loud, so loud laughed he,
And the very next line that Patrick read
Down he fell to his knee.
The first line that Sir Patrick read
A loud, loud laugh laughed he,
The next line that Sir Patrick read
A tear blinded his e'e.

“Oh, who is this, who has done this deed
Telling the king on me,
For to send us out this time of the year
To sail on the salt, salt sea?”
“Oh who is this has done this deed
And told the King of me,
To send me out this time of year,
To sail upon the sea?”

“To Norway, to far Norway,
To Norway over the foam.
It is the king's daughter of far Norway
And we must bring her home.”

Now they set sail with all good speed
On a Monday in the morn,
And they have arrived far over the sea
On a Wednesday in the eve.

And they'd not been in far Norway
A week but barely three,
When all those lords of far Norway
Began out aloud for to say:
They hadn't been in Norowa
A week but barely three,
When all the lords of Norowa
Got up and spak' so free:

“Oh, you Scots foreigners spend our king's gold,
Swallow up our money.”
“Oh, weary weary the tongue that lies,
See how it lies on thee.”
“The outland Scots waste our King's gold
And swallow our Queen's fee”
“Oh weary for the tongue that speaks
Such a mortal lie”

“Make ready, ready my good men all,
The little ship sails in the morn.
Be it wind, be it wet, be it hail, be it sleet,
Be it fair or deadly storm.”
“Take tent, take tent, my good men all
Make sure you are well forn
For come it wind or come it rain
Our good ship sails the morn”

But up and spoke our own weatherman,
“I fear we'll all be drowned.
For I saw the new moon late last night,
The old moon in her arm.”
Then out there spoke the weatherman
“I fear we'll all be drownded
For I saw the new moon late yestere'en
With the old moon in her arms”

And they'd not sailed a league and a league,
A league but barely three
When through and through the little ship's side
[They?] spied the green-walled sea.
They had not sailed a league, a league,
A league but barely three
When the lift grew dark and the wind blew loud
And surly grew the sea.

“Oh, where will I get me a brave young boy,
Take my helm in hand,
While I climb up to the tall topmast,
See can I spy land.”

And he'd not gone a step and a step,
A step but barely one,
When the whirling winds and the ugly jaws
Came a-driving to their shin.

“Oh, fetch me a web of the silken cloth,
Another web of the twine,
And lay them around our little ship's side
Let not the sea come in.”

And they got a web of the silken cloth,
Another web of the twine,
And they laid them around the little ship's side,
Still the sea come in.

Oh, the anchor snapped, the topmast cracked,
It was a deadly storm.
And the whirling winds and the ugly jaws
Came a-driving to their chin.

And there came a gale from the north-north-east,
So loud, so loud it weep,
It cried, “Patrick Spens and all of his men
Are drowning in the deep.”

And loath, loath were the good Scots lords
To wet their shining shoen,
But long and ere this day was done
Their hats were soaking through.
Oh loath, loath were the good Scots lords
To wear their cork-heeled shoen
But long e'er all the ploy was played
They wore their hats aboon

And many were the fine feather bed
Flattering over the foam,
And many were the good lords' sons
Never, never more come home.

And long, long will the ladies sit,
Their gold combs in their hand,
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens
Come a-sailing to dry land.

Oh, it's east by north from Aberdour,
It's fifty fathom deep.
And it's there it lies Patrick Spens,
The Scots lords at his feet.

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Record Label(s): 2011 Topic Records Ltd
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