Text and Wordlist
'Why does your sword so drip with blood,
Why does your sword so drip with blood?
And why so sad are ye, O?'
'O, I have killed my hawk so good,
O I have killed my hawk so good:
And I had no more but he, O.'
'Your hawk's blood was never so red,
Your hawk's blood was never so red,
My dear son I tell thee, O.'
'O, I have killed my red-roan steed,
O, I have killed my red-roan steed,
That once was so fair and free, O.'
'Your steed was old, and we have got more,
Your steed was old, and we have got more,
Some other evil ye fear, O.'
'O, I have killed my father dear,
O, I have killed my father dear,
Alas! and woe is me, O!'
'And what penance will ye suffer for that,
And what penance will ye suffer for that?
My dear son, now tell me, O.'
'I'll set my feet in yonder boat,
I'll set my feet in yonder boat,
And I'll fare over the sea, O.'
'And what will ye do with your towers and your halls,
And what will ye do with your towers and your halls,
That were sae fair to see, O?'
'I'll let them stand till they down fall,
I'll let them stand till they down fall,
For here never more may I be, O.'
'And what will ye leave to your children and your wife,
And what will ye leave to your children and your wife
When ye go over the sea, O?'
'The world is large, let them beg through life,
The world is large, let them beg through life,
For them never more will I see, O.'
'And what will ye leave to your own mother dear,
And what will ye leave to your own mother dear?
My dear son, now tell me, O.'
'The curse of hell from me shall you bear,
The curse of hell from me shall you bear,
Such counsels you gave to me, O.'
sword: spada noun [ C ] UK /sɔːd/ US /sɔːrd/
a weapon with a long, sharp metal blade and a handle, used especially in the past
a sword with a steel blade
a two-edged sword
put sb to the sword
sword of Damocles
drip: gocciolare verb UK /drɪp/ US /drɪp/
[ I or T ] If a liquid drips, it falls in drops, or you make it fall in drops:
Water dripped down the wall.
She dripped paint on the carpet.
[ I ] to produce drops of liquid:Watch out - the candle's dripping.
be dripping with sth
hawk: falco /hɔːk/
1.a diurnal bird of prey with broad rounded wings and a long tail, typically taking prey by surprise with a short chase.
2.a person who advocates an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs.
"severe limits were put on the peace plan by party hawks"
red-roan steed: destriero rosso roano (con peli bianchi, rossi e neri)
Red is a colour.
Roan is a type of coat colour in animals of intermixed white and darker-colored hairs.
Steed is a working animal used as a mount.
noun UK /wəʊ/ US /woʊ/
woes [ plural ] formal
big problems or troubles:
The country has been beset by economic woes for the past decade.
Unusually poor harvests have added to the country's woes.
[ U ] literary extreme sadness: Her face was lined and full of woe.
He told me a real tale of woe about how he had lost both his job and his house in the same week.
noun [ C or U ] UK /ˈpen.əns/ US /ˈpen.əns/
an act that shows that you feel sorry about something that you have done, sometimes for religious reasons:
As a penance, she said she would buy them all a box of chocolates.
They are doing penance for their sins.
ye = you
yonder: là determiner, adverb UK /ˈjɒn.dər/ US /ˈjɑːn.dɚ/ also yon, old use
in the place or direction shown; over there
I'll fare over the sea: andrò per mari
verb [ I usually + adv/prep ] UK /feər/ US /fer/ old-fashioned
to succeed or be treated in the stated way:
How did you fare in your exams?
Low-paid workers will fare badly/well under this government.
verb [ I always + adv/prep ] US /fer, fær/
fare verb [ I always + adv/prep ] (PROGRESS)
to progress or to be in a particular condition:
Middle-income families will fare better/worse under the new tax laws.
To stand still: stare fermo
let them beg through life: lascia che implorino per la vita'
The curse of hell from me shall you bear: sopporterai la maledizione dell'inferno da parte mia
LnT For further information on the ballad, click here
LnT A short video that displays some features of the ballad as a genre is available. Check on Youtube
LnT Read another medieval ballad: Lord Randal. The text and a wordlist are provided for free.