Fair Helen of Kirkconnell
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
According to Helen Hopekirk the tune is an ancient air and the words an old ballad. It is also known as Where Helen Lies. It appears in a collection by McGibbon which is undated, but is probably circa 1768. I wish I were where Helen Lies.
For night and day on me she cries;
For night and day on me she cries.
I wish I were where Helen lies
on fair Kirkconnell lea.
Oh Helen Fair, Oh Helen chaste!
Were I with thee, I would be blest,
Were I with thee I would be blest.
Where thou liest low and at they rest
On fair Kirkconnell lea.

Oh Helen fair, beyond compare
I'll make a garland of thy hair;
I'll make a garland of thy hair;
Shall bind my heart for evermair
Until the day I dee.
Curst be the heart that hatch'd the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot;
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,
And died to succour me.

O think na but my heart was sair,
My love dropt down and spake nae mair;
My love dropt down and spak nae mair,
O think na ye my heart was air
On fair Kirkconnell lea.
I found my foe behind a wa';
I lighted doun my sword to draw,
I hacked him in pieces sma,
I hacked him in pieces sma,
Who took my love from me.

I wish I were where Helen lies,
For night and day on me she cries;
I wish I were where Helen lies
On fair Kirkconnell lea.
Related Links
From Scottish Songs, 1998 Waverly Books
And Seventy Scottish Songs
See Bibliography for full information.
Information from Bruce Olsen's Roots of Folk Website