Dowie Dens of Yarrow

from by Christine Weir

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An ancient Scots ballad about a young man who was challenged to a duel by 9 other men, for the love of a lady


There was a lady in the North,
you scarce could find her marrow
she was courted by nine gentlemen
and a Ploo boy lad, from Yarrow

Well nine sat drinking at the wine
as Aft they'd done afore o
and they made a vow among themselves
to fight for her on Yarrow

she washed his face an combed his hair
as aft she'd done afore o
and she made of him her knight, sae braw
and sent him off to Yarrow

So he's run ower yon high, high hill
and down by the dens so narrow
and there he spied nine armed men
come to fight with him on Yarrow

He said there's nine of you
and one of me,
it's an unequal marrow
but I'll fight you all now one by one
on the Dowie dens of Yarrow

so three he slew, and three they flew
and three he injured sairly
but her brother he came from ayond
and wounded him most foully

oh mother I have dreamed a dream
a dream of duel and sorrow
I dreamt I was pulling the heathery bells
on the dowie dens of yarrow

oh daughter dear I'll read your dream
I read into it sorrow
for your own true love lies pale and wan
on the dowie dens of yarrow

So she's run ower yon high high hill
and down by the dens so narrow
and its there she spied her ploo boy, John
Lying pale and dead on Yarrow

She washed his face and combed his hair
as aft she'd done afore o
with her plaid around her waist so small
she carried him home to Yarrow

Oh mother, mother make my bed
make it long and narrow
for my ploo boy died for me this day
I'll die for him tomorrow
I'll die for him tomorrow


from Weir Celts!, track released June 12, 2017
Kenric Potter on drums. Rayelle Goodman on violin, Matthew Weir on Bass and double bass, Ingrid Salzmann on keyboard and Jonathan Tait on acoustic guitar


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Christine Weir Cape Town, South Africa

Singer, song writer, author, Christine's compositions reflect her love of Scottish Traditional music and all things Celtic.
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