> Steeleye Span > Songs > Little Sir Hugh

Little Sir Hugh

[ Roud 73 ; Child 155 ; Ballad Index C155 ; trad.]

Steeleye Span recorded Little Sir Hugh for their 1975 album Commoners Crown. A live recording from the Royal Opera Theatre in Adelaide, Australia in 1982 was released on the rare Australian-only LP On Tour.

Compare the chorus to Eliza Carthy's song Mother, Go Make My Bed on the album Eliza Carthy and The Kings of Calicutt.

Lyrics

2× Chorus:
“Mother, mother, make my bed,
Make for me a winding sheet.
Wrap me up in a cloak of gold,
See if I can sleep.”

Four and twenty bonny, bonny boys playing at the ball.
Along came little Sir Hugh, he played with them all.
He kicked the ball very high, he kicked the ball so low,
He kicked it over a castle wall where no one dared to go.

Out came a lady gay, she was dressed in green.
“Come in, come in little Sir Hugh, fetch your ball again.”
“I won't come in, I can't come in without my playmates all;
For if I should I know you would cause my blood to fall.”

2× Chorus

She took him by the milk white hand, led him to the hall
Till they came to a stone chamber where no one could hear him call.
She sat him on a golden chair, she gave him sugar sweet,
She lay him on a dressing board and stabbed him like a sheep.

Out came the thick thick blood, out came the thin.
Out came the bonny heart's blood till there was none within.
She took him by the yellow hair and also by the feet.
She threw him in the old draw well fifty fathoms deep.

3×Chorus

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Patrick Montague for correcting the lyrics.