There was a lady and a lady gay,
Children she had three.
She sent them away to a northern school,
To study gramarie.
They had not been but three months gone,
Three months and a day.
When death came o'er this whole land
And stole those babes away.
'If there's a King in Heaven high,
That wears a golden crown
Let him send home my three little babes.
Tonight or in the morning soon.
It fell about old Christmas time
The nights being long and cool
She dreamed she saw her own dear babes
Come running to their mother's door.
She set a table with a clean white cloth
Set with bread and wine,
'Come eat, come drink, my three little babes.
Come eat, come drink of mine.'
'We can't eat your bread, mother,
'We can't drink your wine.
For yonder stands our saviour dear
And Him we must rejoin.'
She made them a bed in the backmost room,
Spread with a holland sheet.
And on it spread a cloth of gold.
'Come by, my babes, and sleep.'
'Green moss grows at our head, mother,
Green grass at our feet.
And every tear that you shed for us,
It wets our winding sheet.'
'Rise up, rise up,' cried the eldest then,
'Rise up and away,
For yonder stands our Saviour dear
With Him we must away.
'So it's farewell mother and father too,
Farewell King and Queen,
How can I stay in this dull world?
There's a brighter one for me.'
from 52 Folk Songs: Red
released July 21, 2012
Phil Edwards: vocal, English concertina and recorder