The Little Lowland Maid
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This appeared on a broadside entitled The Cruel Lowland Maid that was printed by Ryle, who succeeded J. Catnach (who printed 1820–1830). The broadside was signed by G. Brown.

This was collected in Surrey in 1896.

It's of a pretty sailor lad
Who ploughed the stormy sea,
He dressed himself in tarry clothes,
Like one in poverty;
His pockets being well lined,
Though of the sailor trade,
For to try the heart of Mary Ann,
The little Lowland Maid.

As Mary Ann was standing
Down by her cottage door
She frowned upon her sailor lad,
Who seemed to be so poor.
She looked just like a goddess,
In jewels rich arrayed,
But the thorn was in the bosom
Of the little Lowland Maid.

'Good morning;' said false Mary Ann,
'I'm glad to meet with you;
Have you forgot your own true love,
Or changed your love for new?
Or is your inclination all
On some other strayed?
So begone!' said lovely Mary Ann,
The little Lowland Maid.

She seemed to be so scornful,
So the sailor says 'Behold!'
All from his trousers-pocket he
Pulls a bag of gold.
So then replied false Mary Ann
'Excuse me what I said!
You're welcome to the cottage and
The little Lowland Maid.'

'Oh no! deceitful damsel,
Your falseness shall be paid,
For I can lie till morning in
Some distant barn or shed.'
It was the hour of twelve oclock
Young Mary Ann did stray,
And she told some other comrade
Where the sailor he did lay.

They went with their dark lanterns
And daggers in their hands,
They rode through woods and meadows,
And past the muddy lands;
'Cheer up your hearts' said Mary Ann,
'and do not be betrayed,
We will rob and slay the sailor for
The little Lowland Maid.'

They both then plunged their daggers
Into the sailor, deep;
They robbed him of his glittering gold,
And left him there to weep.
A gamekeeper was watching them;
All from his wood he strayed,
Then he swore against the villain and
The little Lowland Maid.

They both then stood their trials,
And were condemned, and cast;
And on the fatal gallows-tree
They both were hung at last.
There were thousands flocked to see them,
And scornfully they said
'Begone! you cruel monster, and
The little Lowland Maid!'

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From English Traditional Songs and Carols
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