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THE QUEEN'S MARIES
 Traditional 

 
                                        Last nicht the Queen had four Maries,
                                            This nicht she'll hae but three,
                                        She'd Mary Beaton, an' Mary Seaton,
                                            An' Mary Carmichael an' me.
 
                                        O, little did my mammie think
                                            The day she cradled me,
                                        That I wad dee sae far frae hame,
                                            Or hang on a gallows tree.
 
                                        O, tie a napkin roun' my e'en,
                                            An' no lat me see to dee;
                                        An' never send word to my father or mither,
                                            They're far awa owre the sea.
 
                                        I wish I cou'd lie in our ain kirkyard,
                                            Aneath yon auld oak tree,
                                        Where we pu'd the rowans and strung the gowans,
                                            My brithers an' sisters an' me.
 
                                        But what care I for a nameless grave,
                                            When I've hopes for eternitie;
                                        I'll pray that the faith of the dying thief
                                            Should be granted through grace to me.
 
                                        Last nicht the Queen had four Maries,
                                            This nicht and she'll hae but three,
                                        She'd Mary Beaton, an' Mary Seaton,
                                            An' Mary Carmichael an' me.
 
Footnote: There are several versions of this song popularly associated with Mary, Queen of Scots, whose birth in 1542 we celebrate this week in the history dates item. This version is taken from "Ord's Bothy Songs and Ballads" published around 1930. Superintendent John Ord of the Glasgow Police Force was a friend of the renowned Folk Song collector Gavin Greig and like Greig did much to preserve the songs of his native  North-East. About this song John Ord writes - ' This song is founded on an incident related in the old ballad of "Mary Hamilton" who was accused of child murder, in the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.'
 

 


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