Young Bill Norrie's a fine lad and he lives like the wind
Eyes shine like the silver or gold in morning sun
"Oh friend John, and dear John, and do you see what I see?
Yonder stand the first woman that ever loved me."
"And here's a glove, a glove John, it's lined with the silver grey
Give it to her and tell her to come to her young Billy."
"And here is a ring, a ring John, it's all gold but the stone
Give it to her and tell her to ask for leave of none."
"Oh friend Billy, dear Billy, you know my love for thee
I'll not go to nobody to steal their wife away."
"Oh Friend John, dear John, swim not against the tide
Be with me in the stream John for I will be obeyed."
John ran down to the high house and he rang low at the door
Who was there but this woman to let young Johnny in
"Here is a glove, a glove lady, lined with silver grey
Bids you come to greenwood to meet your young Billy."
"And here is a ring, a ring lady, all gold but the stone
Bids you come to greenwood and ask for leave of none."
Husband stood in the shadow and an angry man was he
"I never thought the man lived my love loved more than me."
So he's gone down to her room and he dressed in her array
Like some woman he's gone down to find this young Billy."
Young Billy sat in the greenwood and he whistled and he sang
Yonder come the woman that I have loved so long."
Billy ran down and down there to meet her where she came
Oh the sight that he saw his heart grew still as stone
Billy ran down and down there to help her from the horse
"Oh and oh," he cries out, "Woman was never so gross."
Husband he had a long knife, it hung down his knee
He took the head of young Billy and off his fair body
And he's run home and home there and down into his hall
Tossed Billy's head to her, crying, "Lady catch the ball."
And she's taken up the head there, she kissed it cheek and chin
"I love better this head than all my kith and kin."
And she's taken up the head there, she hugged it to her womb
"Once I was full of this boy as the plum is of the stone
And when I was in my dad's house and my virginity
A young man come to my room and we got young Billy
And I've loved him in my room in secrecy and shame
I loved him in the greenwood all out in wind and rain
And I will kiss his sweet head and I will kiss his chin
I will vow and stay true and I'll ne'er kiss man again."
And up and spoke the husband and a sad sad man was he
"If I had known he was your son he would not be killed by me
If I had known he was your son he would not've been killed by me."