The Bonny Swans

(Traditional as interpreted by Loreena McKennitt)

(Lyrics in parentheses are in between every verse of the song.)

A farmer there lived in the north country
(A hey ho and me bonny girl)
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 and me bonny girl)
The eldest pushed the youngest in
(The swans swim so bonny o)

Oh sister, oh sister, pray lend me your hand
And I will give you house and land
I’ll give you neither hand nor glove
Unless you give me your own true love

Sometimes she sank, sometimes she swam
Until she came to a miller’s dam
The miller’s daughter, dressed in red
She went for some water to make some bread

Oh father, oh daddy, here swims a swan
It’s very like a gentle woman
They laid her on the bank to dry
There came a harper passing by

He made harp pins of her fingers fair
He made harp strings of her golden hair
He made a harp of her breast bone
And straight it began to play alone

He brought it to her father’s hall
And there was the court, assembled all
He laid the harp upon a stone
And straight it began to play alone

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

Listen:

Notes:

Used for Midsummer 2011 Offertory

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