Lucy Wan
Download Midi File
John Renfro Davis

This ballad is Child Ballad #51 (Lizzie Wan).

Lizie Wan was first printed in Herd's Scottish Songs (1776). Child has only two versions of the ballad. He compares it to two Danish ballads with similar stories of incest and murder.

This version is from The Penguin Book of English Folksongs. It was collected in Cottenham.

Variants and alternate titles include: Lizie Wan and Rosie Ann.

For a complete list of Child Ballads at this site go to Francis J. Child Ballads.

Fair Lucy she sits at her father's door,
A-weeping and making moan,
And by there came her brother dear:
'What ails thee, Lucy Wan?'

'I ail, and I ail, dear brother,' she said,
'I'll tell you the reason why;
There is a child between my two sides,
Between you, dear Billy, and I.'

And he has drawn his good broad sword,
That hung down by his knee,
And he has cutted off Lucy Wan's head.
And her fair body in three.

'Oh, I have cutted off my greyhound's head,
And I pray you pardon me.'
'Oh, this is not the blood of our greyhound,
But the blood of our Lucy.'

'Oh, what shall you do when your father
      comes to know?
My son, pray tell unto me.'
'I shall dress myself in a new suit of blue
And sail to some far country.'

'Oh, what will you do with your houses
      and your lands?
My son, pray tell unto me?'
'Oh, I shall leave them all to
      my children so small,
By one, by two, by three.'

'Oh, when shall you turn to your
      own wife again?
My son, pray tell unto me.'
'When the sun and the moon rise
      over yonder hill,
And I hope that may never, never be.'

Additional Versions
From The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs and
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
See Bibliography for full information.