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Loreena Mckennitt

The Bonny Swans

A farmer there lived in the north country
a hey ho bonny o
And he had daughters one, two, three
The swans swim so bonny o
These daughters they walked by the river's brim
a hey ho bonny o
The eldest pushed the youngest in
The swans swim so bonny o


Oh sister, oh sister, pray lend me your hand
with a hey ho a bonny o
And I will give you house and land
the swans swim so bonny o
I'll give you neither hand nor glove
with a hey ho a bonny o
Unless you give me your own true love
the swans swim so bonny o


Sometimes she sank, sometimes she swam
with a hey ho and a bonny o
Until she came to a miller's dam
the swans swim so bonny o


The miller's daughter, dressed in red
with a hey ho and a bonny o
She went for some water to make some bread
the swans swim so bonny o


Oh father, oh daddy, here swims a swan
with a hey ho and a bonny o
It's very like a gentle woman
the swans swim so bonny o
They placed her on the bank to dry
with a hey ho and a bonny o
There came a harper passing by
the swans swim so bonny o


He made harp pins of her fingers fair
with a hey ho and a bonny o
He made harp strings of her golden hair
the swans swim so bonny oHe made a harp of her breast bone
with a hey ho and a bonny o
And straight it began to play alone
the swans swim so bonny o


He brought it to her father's hall
with a hey ho and a bonny o
And there was the court, assembled all
the swans swim so bonny o
He laid the harp upon a stone
with a hey ho and a bonny o
And straight it began to play lone
the swans swim so bonny o


And there does sit my father the King
with a hey ho and a bonny o
And yonder sits my mother the Queen
the swans swim so bonny o
And there does sit my brother Hugh
with a hey ho and a bonny o
And by him William, sweet and true
the swans swim so bonny o
And there does sit my false sister, Anne
with a hey ho and a bonny o
Who drowned me for the sake of a man
the swans swim so bonny o

 

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