Come all ye lads and lasses, and hear my mournful tale,
Ye tender hearts that weep for love to sigh you will not fail,
'Tis all about a young man, and my song will tell you how
He lately came a-courtin' of the Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe.
Said he, "My pretty young fair maid, could you and I agree,
To join our hands in wedlock bands, and married we will be;
We'll join our hands in wedlock bands, and you'll have my plighted vow,
That I'll do my whole endeavors for the Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe.
Now this young and pretty fickle thing, she knew not what to say,
Her eyes did shine like silver bright, and merrily did play;
Says she, "Young man, your love subdue, I am not ready now,
And I'll spend another season at the foot of the Sweet Brown Knowe."
"Oh," says he, "My pretty young fair maid, now why do you say so?
Look down in yonder valley where my verdant crops do grow.
Look down in yonder valley at my horses and my plough,
All at their daily labor for the Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe."
"If they're at their daily labor, kind sir, it is not for me.
I've heard of your behavior, I have, kind sir, " said she;
"There is an inn where you drop in, I've heard the people say,
Where you rap and you call and you pay for all, and go home by the break of
"If I rap and I call and I pay for all, my money is all my own.
I've never spent aught of your fortune, for I hear that you've got none.
You thought you had my poor heart broke in talkin' to you now,
But I'll leave you where I found you, at the foot of the Sweet Brown Knowe."