> Steeleye Span > Songs > Sir James the Rose

Sir James the Rose

[ Roud 2274 ; Child 213 ; G/D 2:235 ; Ballad Index C213 ; trad.]

Steeleye Span recorded this track for the last (and one of the finest) album of their “classic” line-up, Rocket Cottage and a second time for the CD Present to accompany the December 2002 Steeleye Span reunion tour. A live performance from The Rose Theatre Tewkesbury on April 20, 2004 was published on the CD The Official Bootleg.

Lyrics

Steeleye Span sing Sir James the Rose

Oh have you heard Sir James the Rose,
The young heir of Loch Laggan?
For he has killed a gallant squire
And his friends are out to take him.

And he's gone to the House of Marr,
The Nurse there did befriend him.
And he has gone upon his knees
And begged for her to hide him.

“Where're you going Sir James?” she said,
“Where now are you riding?”
“Oh I am bound to a foreign land
But now I'm under hiding.”

Chorus:
Where shall I go?
Where shall I run?
Where shall I go for to hide me?
For I have killed a gallant squire
And they're seeking for to slay me.

Then he's turned him right and round about
And rolled him in the bracken,
And he has gone to take a sleep
In the lowlands of Loch Laggan.

He had not well gone out of sight
Nor was he past Milstrethen
When four and twenty belted knights
Came riding o'er the leathen.

“Have you seen Sir James the Rose,
The young heir of Loch Laggan?
For he has killed a gallant squire,
And we're sent out to take him.”

Chorus

“You'll see the bank above the mill
In the lowlands of Loch Laggan,
And there you'll find Sir James the Rose
Sleeping in the bracken.”

“You must not wake him out of sleep,
Nor yet must you afright him,
Just run a dart right through his heart
And through the body pierce him.”

They sought the bank above the mill
In the lowlands of Loch Laggan,
And there they found Sir James the Rose
Sleeping in the bracken.

Chorus

Then up and spake Sir John the Graeme
Who had the charge a-keeping,
“It'll never be said, dear gentlemen,
We killed him while he's sleeping.”

They seized his broadsword and his targe
And closely him surrounded,
And when he woke out of his sleep
His senses were confounded.

Now they have taken out his heart
And stuck it on a spear,
They took it to the House of Marr
And gave it to his dear.

Chorus

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Patrick Montague for correcting the lyrics.