Little Musgrave

Traditonal With New Words By Christy Moore

It fell upon a holy day as many in the year

Musgrave to the church did go to see fine ladies there

some were dressed in velvet red and some in velvet grey

then in came Lord Barnards  wife the fairest among them all

She cast an eye on Little Musgrave as bright as the Summer’s sun

said Musgrave unto himself this Lady’s heart I’ve won

I have loved you Little Musgrave full long and manys the day

and I have loved you Fair Lady and never a word did say

I have a bower in Bucklesfordberry its my heart’s delight

I’ll take you back there with me and lie in your arms all night

But standing by was a little footpage from the Lady’s coach he ran

although I am a lady’s page I am Lord Barnard’s man

My Lord Barnard shall hear of this whether I sink or swim

and every where the bridge was broken he’d enter the water and swim

My Lord Barnard my Lord Barnard you are a man of life

But Musgrave is at Bucklesfordberry asleep with your wedded wife

If this be true my little footpage, this thing that you tell me ]

all the gold in Bucklesfordberry I gladly will give to thee

But if this be a lie my little footpage this thing that you tell me

From the highest tree in Bucklesfordberry hanged you will be

go saddle me the black he said go saddle me the grey

sound you not your horns he said lest our coming you’d betray

but there was a man in Lord Barnard’s train who loved the Little Musgrave

he blew his horn both loud and shrill.    Away Musgrave Away!

I think I hear the morning cock I think I hear the jay

I think I hear Lord Barnards men I wish I was away

Lie still lie still my Little Musgrave and hug me from the cold

’tis nothing but a sheperd lad a bringing his flock to fold

is not your hawk upon his perch your steed eats oats and hay

You a lady in your arms why would you go away

so he turned her round and kissed her twice and then they fell

when they awoke Lord barnard’s men were standing at their feet

how do you like my bed he said and how do you like my sheets

How do you like My fair Lady that lies in your arms asleep

Tis well I like your bed he said and full great it gives me pain

I’d gladly give a hundred pounds to be on yonder Plain

Rise up rise up Little Musgrave  rise up and then put on

it’ll not be said in this country I slayed a naked man

Slowly slowly he got up and slowly he put on

Slowly down the stairs thinking he’d be slain

there are 2 swords down by my side full dear they cost my purse

you can have the best of them and i will have the worst

and the first sstroke Little Musgrave struck it hurt Lord Barnard sore

but the next stroke Lord Barnard struck Little Musgrave ne’er struck more

Then up spoke the lady fair from the bed whereon she lay

although youre dead my Little Musgrave still for you I’ll pray

How do you like his cheeks he said and how do you like his chin

how do you like his fair lady now theres no life within

Tis more I like his cheeks sshe cried and more I love his chin

its more I want his dead body then all your kith and kin

He’s taken out his long long sword to strike  the mortal blow

through and through the Lady’s heart the cold steel it did go

A grave a grave kord Barnard cried to put these lovers in

with my Lady on the upper hand for she scame from better kin

For I’ve just killed the finest man that ever rode a steed

and I’ve just killed  the finest lady that ever did a woman’s deed

It fell upon a holy day as manys in the year

Little Musgrave to the church did go to see fine Ladies there

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its a long story, told often in other places. At my Granny Dowlings wake my dear grand Uncle Frank Dowling surprised at 20 past 3 in the morning when waking from a half dozen of stout slumber he burst into song and sang Little Musgrave before falling asleep again. It was the only time in his 83 yrs that he ever sang a song.