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This tune was collected by Cecil Sharp, and the story differs from the version in current circulation; here the Flower is the heir of the Earl of Northumberland, and it is he who sensibly forgives her.

lyrics

Northumberland’s daughter went walking alone,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
When she heard a poor prisoner making his moan,
& she was the fair flower of Northumberland.

‘Fair maid, will you pity me?”
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
”If you’ll steal the keys, and let me go free:
I’ll make you my lady in fair Scotland.”

”I’m sure you have no need of me,”
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
”If you have a wife and child or three,
That live at home in fair Scotland.”

He swore by him that was crowned with thorn,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
That he never had a wife since the day he was born,
But lived a free lord in fair Scotland.

She went unto her father’s bed-stock,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
She’s stolen the keys to the dungeon lock,
And she’s let him out of the prison strong.

Now she’s gone to her father’s coffer,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
And she took out his gold like a common robber,
Though she was the heir of Northumberland

And then she went in to her father’s stable,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
She’s stolen a steed both sturdy and able,
To carry them both to fair Scotland.

O when they came to the Scottish cross,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
He bade her light off of her father’s best horse,
And turn back again to Northumberland.

”O pity on me, O pity,” said she,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
”Have pity on me as I had upon thee,
When I let you out of the prison strong.”

”O how can I have pity on thee?”
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
”When I have a wife and children three,
That live in my castle in fair Scotland.”

”A cook in your kitchen I’m willing to be,”
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
”And I’ll serve your lady most reverently,
For I dare not go back to Northumberland.”

“A cook in my kitchen, ye shall not be,”
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
“For I may not have such a servant as thee,
So get ye back home to Northumberland.”

“Or take me by the middle so small,”
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won
“And throw me over your castle wall,
For I dare not go home to Northumberland.”

So loath was he further this lassie to pain,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
That he hired a horse and paid an old man,
To carry her back to Northumberland.

When she went through her father’s hall,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won
She bowed her low amongst them all,
Even the flower o Northumberland.

Out spoke her stepmother, and she spoke so bold,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
”A thief and a whore at just fifteen years old,
Ye shall not be heir of Northumberland.”

Out spoke her father, and he spoke so mild,
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won
”She is not the first maid a false Scot has beguiled,
But she’s still the Flower of Northumberland.

‘She shall not want houses, she shall not want land,”
Maids’ love sometimes is easily won,
She shall not want gold to gain her a husband,
For she is the heir of Northumberland.”

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tags: folk Chicago

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Andrew Calhoun Chicago, Illinois

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