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Lyrics

Aye, sits a king in Dunfermline
Drinking the blood-red wine
"Where can I get me a good skipper
To sail this new ship of mine?"

And up and spoke a noble lord
Who sat at the king's right hand
"It's you must get Sir Patrick Spens
He's walking out on the strand"

Lyrics continue below...

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And the king has written a broad letter
And sealed it with his hand
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens
As he walked out on the strand

And the first line that Sir Patrick read
Loud, loud laughed he
The next line that Sir Patrick read
Oh, the tear blinded his e'e

"Oh, who is this, has done this deed
And told the king on me
To send us out this time of the year
To sail the Wintry sea?"

"For I saw the old moon late last night
With the new moon in her arms
Oh, master dear, if you set to sea
I fear you'll come to harm"

"Be it wind, be it wet, be it snow or sleet
Our good ship must sail the morn
To gang awa' to Norowa
To take the king's bride home

We hoisted sail on a Monday morn
With all the speed we made
When we landed in to Norowa
Afore the Wednesday

And we had not been in Norowa
A week but barely twa
When that the lords of Norowa
Out loud began to say

"You Scotsmen spend all our queen's gold
And swallow our queen's fee!"
"You lie, you lie, you lie as loud
So loud, I hear you lie!"

"For I have brought as much money
As demon of enemy
And I have brought as much red gold
Out o'er the sea with me

"Make ready, make ready my merry men all
Out ship must sail in the morn"
"You must do as you like, my master, dear
But I fear a deadly storm"

And we had not sailed a league, a league
A league, but barely three
When the sky grew dark and the wind blew high
And loud, loud roared the sea

"Oh, where can I get me a bonnie boy
Who'll take my helm in hand?
While I climb to the topmast rail
To see if I can find land"

"Oh, here am I, a bonnie boy
Who'll take your helm in hand
While you climb to the topmast rail
But I fear you will never find land"

But he had not climbed a rung, a rung
A rung, but barely three
When a voice came calling up to him
"Come down and speak with me"
"There's a hole, a hole in our ship's side
And through it pours the sea"

"Oh, fetch me a web of the silken cloth
And another of the twine
And bind it round our good ship's side
Let not the water in"

So they fetched him a bolt of the silken cloth
And another of the twine
And they bound it round our good ship's side
But still the sea poured

And loath, loath were those good Scots lords
To wet their cork-heeled shoen
But long e'er all the play was played
Their hats were under the foam

And many were the feather beds
That floated on from the foam
And many were the good Scots lords
That never more came home

Long, long may the ladies sit
Their fans into their hand
Awaiting for Sir Patrick Spens
Come sailing o'er to Leith strand

Long, long may the ladies sit
Their gold combs in their hand
Awaiting for their husbands, dear
But home they'll come no more

And three miles off Aberdeen
Go fifty fathoms deep
And there you'll find Sir Patrick Spens
With the Scots lords at his feet

Writer(s): roy palmer, traditional, june tabor

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