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Alison and Willie / My Luve She Lives

[ Roud 245 ; Child 256 ; Ballad Index C256 ; trad.]

Katherine Campbell sang My Luve She Lives, accompanied by Mairi Campbell on fiddle, in 2004 on her CD The Songs of Amelia and Jane Harris which is a companion to the book The Song Repertoire of Amelia and Jane Harris, edited by Emily Lyle (2002). Her album's notes commented:

As with Burd Helen, the Harris family appear to have been the only source for this ballad (Alison and Willie: Child 256), also first written out by Amelias when only a child from her mother's recitation and sent to Peter Buchan. Child printed the Harris version in full from the manuscript sent to him by Amelia Harris in 1873 and referred to the Buchan manuscript copy for variations.

Katherine Campbell sings My Luv She Lives

My luve she lives in Lincolnshire;
I wat she's niether black nor broun.
But her hair is like the threads of gowd,
Aye an' it waur weel kaimèd doun.

She's pued the black mask owre her face—
An' blinkit gaily wi her ee'.
“Oh! will you to my wedding come,
An' will you bear me gude companie?”

“I winna to your wedding come,
Nor will I bear you good company;
Unless you be the bride yoursel,
An' me the bonnie bridegroom to be.”

“For me to be the bride mysel',
An' you the bonnie bridegroom to be—
Cheer up your heart, sweet Willie,” she said,
“For that's the day you'll never see.”

“Gin you waur on your saiddle set,
An' gaily ridin on the way,
You’ll hae nae mair mind o' Alison
Than she waur dead an' laid in clay.”

When he was on his saiddle set,
An' slowly ridin on the way,
He had mair mind o' Alison
Than he had o' the licht o' day.

He saw a hart draw near a hare,
An' aye that hare drew near a toun,
An that same hart did get a hare,
But the gentle knicht got neir a toun.

He leant hime owre his saiddle bow,
An' his hart did break in pieces three—
Wi' sighen said him sweet Willie,
“The pains o' luve hae ta'en hald o' me.”

There cam a white horse an' a letter,
That stopped the weddin speidilie—

She leant her back on her bedside
An' her hart did brak in pieces three—
She was buried an' bemoaned,
But the birds were Willie’s companie.