(FAIR MARGARET AND SWEET WILLIAM)
Sung by: Jewel Hawkins
Recorded in Batesville, AR 7/30/62
Click here to listen to the original recording
Neither do I know none of her,
But tomorrow morning at eight o'clock,
Lady Margaret my bride shall see.
Lady Margaret was standing in her kitchen,
Combing back her hair,
And who did she spy but Sweet William and his bride,
As to the church they grew nigh.
Back she threw her long wavy hair,
Back she threw her comb,
And out at the door this pretty fair one went,
And she ne'er was seen any more.
Well, day went off and night came on;
All mankind was asleep.
Sweet William was troubled in his . . .
A sighing at his bed feet.
"How do you like your bed," said she,
And how do you like your sheets?
And how do you like your pretty, pretty bride
A-lying in your arms asleep?"
"Well do I like my bed," said he,
"And well do I like my sheets,
But the fairest of them all is the pretty one
A-sighing at my bed feet."
Night went off, and day came on,
When all mankind was awake.
Sweet William said he was troubled in his head
From a dream he had last night.
Sweet William rode up to Lady Margaret's house,
A-tapping on a ring,
And who was so ready as her seven servant brothers
To rise and let him in.
"Is Lady Margaret in the kitchen," said he,
"Or is she in the hall?
Or is she in the upper chamber room,
Among those ladies all?"
"She is neither in the kitchen," says he,
"Neither is she in the hall,
But there she lies in her cold, cold coffin,
Right there against the wall."
"Take back, take back, those cambrics,
That are made of the cambric so fine,
And let me kiss her clay cold lips,
For ofttime she's kissed mine."
First he kissed her on the cheek,
And then he kissed her forehead,
And then he kissed her clay cold lips,
Which burst his heart within.
"Lay down, lay down, those cambric sheets
That're made of the cambric so fine.
Today they hang over Lady Margaret's corpse,
And tomorrow they'll hang over mine."
Lady Margaret died as it was today,
Sweet William, he died on the morrow.
Lady Margaret was married in the old churchyard;
Sweet William was buried by her side.
Out of Sweet Margaret's grew a rose,
Out of Sweet William's a briar.
They grew 'til they grew to the church steeple,
And they tied in a true lover's knot.
Also found in Child, #74, "Fair Margaret and Sweet William"; Randolph, Vol. I, #16, "Lady Margaret"; Brown, Vol. II, #20, "Fair Margaret and Sweet William"; Belden, p. 48, "Fair Margaret and Sweet William."