Curved border of brown dragons.

The Dead Woman's Son

Lyrics & Music: Maureen S. O'Brien, 2/1/97
Insp: "Thomas the Rhymer: The Dead Woman's Son" from _Folklore and Songs from North Uist_

A tailor came to a poet's house.
His three sons, they lived there.
He fit them for three suits of clothes,
The best they'd ever wear.
Their sister said, "To have such clothes
I would give anything --
A purse of gold, or a horse in foal,
Or my finger's jewelled ring."

The tailor said, "I'll make you clothes,"
And then he spoke in jest,
"A night with one who fits such clothes,
That payment would be best."
The sister smiled at the tailor then,
For jesting nothing loath;
"Oh, you shall have what you desire
When I have worn your clothes."

He made her brothers three suits of clothes,
Made her a golden gown.
Then he went back to the poet's house;
A grieving house he found.
The merry sister'd taken sick
And died before the dawn.
The tailor gave them the golden gown;
She was buried with it on.

That night, the sister came to him
All in her golden gown,
Saying, "I must pay, so take my hand
And softly lay me down."
He said, "You know the words I spoke
I only spoke in jest."
She said, "Promise made must be promise kept,
Or I can never rest."

So he took her softly by the hand
And laid between her and the wall,
And the tailor warmed her cold cold corpse
Till they heard the first cock call.
Then she said to him, "Nine months from now,
Come visiting my grave.
Half underground and half above,
You'll find our little babe.

"And you will find a red book there
All on my grave so green,
And you will keep it for Thomas
To read when he's fourteen.
And he will be the best rhymer
That Scotland e'er has seen;
And if you've laid down with a dead woman,
He'll lay down with a queen."


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