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The “False Halls” who betrayed Parcy Reed were driven from their farm by popular outrage and there have been “…no Halls at Girsonsfield since the reign of Queen Elizabeth.” -folklorist Robert White.

lyrics

Death of Parcy Reed

The Liddesdale Crosiers have ridden a raid,
And they had far better stayed at home,
For they have lost a gallant lad,
Whinton Crosier it was his name.

Oh Parcy Reed took young Whinton Crosier,
And he’s delivered him to the law.
But old Crosier he has made answer,
He’d make the tower of Troughend fall.

O Parcy Reed has gone a-hunting,
And he’d have far better stayed at home;
For the three false Halls of Girsonsfield,
They all along with him have gone.

They hunted up and they hunted down,
They hunted all Rede Water round,
Till weariness did seize on Parcy;
At the Batinghope he lay him down.

They stole the bridle off his steed,
And they put water in his long gun;
They fixed his sword within the sheath,
That out again it would not come.

“Awaken ye, waken ye, Parcy Reed,
For we do fear ye’ve slept too long;
For yonder’s the five Crosiers coming,
They’re coming by the Hangin-stone.”

“If they be five, and we be four,
If ye will all stand true to me,
Then every man ye will take one,
And two of them ye may leave to me.”

“O stay, O stay, O Tommy Hall,
O stay O man, and fight with me!
If ever we see the Troughend again,
My good black mare I will give thee.’

“I will not stay, I cannot stay
I dare not stay to fight for thee;
For they would find out Parcy Reed,
And then they’d slay both thee and me.”

“O stay, O stay, O Johnnie Hall,
O stay, O man, and fight with me!
If ever we see the Troughend again,
A yoke of oxen I will give thee.”

“I will not stay, I cannot stay
I dare not stay to fight for thee;
For they would find out Parcy Reed,
And then they’d slay both you and me.”

“O stay, O stay, O Willie Hall,
O stay, O man, and fight with me!
If ever we see the Troughend again,
The half of my land I will give thee.”

“I will not stay, I can not stay
I dare not stay to fight for thee;
For they would find out Parcy Reed,
And then they’d slay both thee and me.”

“O foul fall ye, traitors all!
Ye’ve taken bridle, sword and gun from me;
Ye’ve left me in a fair field standing,
And I can neither fight nor flee.”

The Crosiers fell on Parcy Reed,
They mangled him most cruelly;
They hacket off his hands and feet,
And left him lying on the lea.

“There’s some will call me Parcy Reed,
And some will call me Laird Troughend;
It’s no matter what they call me,
My foes have made me ill to ken.

“A farewell to my daughter Jean,
A farewell to my young sons five;
Had you been at your father’s hand,
I had this night been a man alive.

“A farewell to my wedded wife,
A farewell to my brother John,
And the three false Halls of Girsonsfield,
They’ll never be trusted nor believed again

“The laird o Clennel wears my bow,
The laird o Brandon wears my brand;
Who ever rides in the Border side,
Will mind the Laird of the Troughend.”

credits

tags

tags: folk Chicago

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Andrew Calhoun Chicago, Illinois

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