Hind Horn

Words and Music: Traditional, Child 17 (arrangement by Brian Peters)
MIDI file / NWC file / PDF file

In Edinburgh I was born,
The name I bear is young Hind Horn
For seven years I served the king,
All for his daughter's love to win.

But the king, an angry man was he,
He sent me far across the sea
My love gave me a golden ring;
I valued it above all things.

'Now if this ring do keep its hue,
You'll know that I prove true to you;
But if this ring grows pale and wan,
You'll know that I love some other man.'

So he hoisted his sail and away went he,
Away, away, to some far country
He looked at the ring--it shone bright and clear
He knew she was constant to her dear

And then he sailed away, a year or more,
Until he came to the Turkish shore
He looked at the ring--it was pale and wan
He knew that she loved some other man

So he hoisted his sail and home went he
Home again to his own country
He set his foot upon dry land
The first that he met was an old beggar-man

"What news, what news, old beggar-man?
What news have you by sea and land?"
"Bad news, bad news to you I say--
Tomorrow is your true love's wedding day!"

"Then give to me your begging gown,
And my red robe shall be your own."
"The begging gown's none fit for thee,
And your red robe's too rich for me."

But be it right, be it wrong,
The begging gown he has put on
"Now that the beggar's rig I wear,
Tell me how the beggar must fare."

"Walk as fast as is your will
Until you come to yonder hill;
Then slow your pace and stoop your frame
And lean on your staff like one who is lame.

"And you will beg from Peter and beg from Paul
Beg from the highest and the lowest of all
But you'll get nothing from woman or man
'Til it comes from the bride's own hand."

So he begged from Peter and begged from Paul
He begged from the highest and the lowest of all
From none of them did he get one thing
Until he came to his love's wedding

The bride came tripping down the stairs
Bands of gold were in her hair
And a glass of red wine in her hand
To give to the poor old beggar-man

From out of the glass he drank the wine
Into it he dropped the ring
The bride she knew it as her own
She stared as one all turned to stone

"Did you get it by sea, did you get it by land,
Or was it from a drown'd man's hand?"
"It was not from sea, and not from land,
Nor yet from any drown'd man's hand.

"For it was you gave me this golden ring;
I value it above all things
And homeward I have made my way
To give it to you on your wedding day."

She tore the gold from off her head
"I'll follow you and beg my bread!"
She tore the gold from off her hair
"I'll follow you forevermore!"

And between the kitchen and the hall
'Twas there he let the beggar's robe fall
He shone with gold like the sun's own ray
The bride from the groom he stole away!

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