The Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe lyrics

by The Dubliners ft. Luke Kelly

Come, all you lads and lassies, and listen to me a while
I'll sing to you a verse or two that will surely make you smile
Concerning a young man I am going to tell you now
Who has lately came a-courtin' the maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe

This young man says, "My pretty maid, will you come along with me?
We'll both fly off together, and happy we will be
We'll join our hands in wedlock bands as I'm speaking with you now
And I'll do me best endeavour for the maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe"

This fair and fickle young thing, she knew not what to say
Her eyes did shine like diamonds bright and merrily did play
She says, "Young man, your love's subdued, for I'm not ready now
And I'll spend another season at the foot of the Sweet Brown Knowe

The young man said: "My pretty maid, how can you answer so?
See down in yonder valley where my crops do gently grow
Down in yonder valley I have horses, men and plow
And they're at the daily labour for the maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe"

"If they're at their daily labour, kind sir, 'tis not for me
I've heard of your behavior, I have indeed," said she
"There is an inn where you call in, and I've heard the people say
That you rap and you call and you pay for all and come home at the break of day

"If I rap and I call and I pay for all, me money is all me own
I'll never spend your fortune, for I hear that you've got none
You thought you had me poor heart won, by meeting with you now
But I'll leave you where I found you at the foot of the Sweet Brown Knowe"

Song Details

Author/Composer: Unknown

Source: Walton, Treasury of Irish Songs & Ballads p.131

Brief: The story of a young man who is courting a young maid from the Sweet Brown Knowe with a view to marry. He promises to work hard and offers her crops, horses, and servants. She says he spends too much time and money at the local inn with friends and acquantances. He tells her that the money is his and he will do with it as he pleases. He then leaves her as he found her... with very little and a life-time of regret.

Category: Irish Folk Song

Popular Recording Artists: The Dubliners (featured), Johnny McEvoy, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Tom Sweeney, Frank Patterson, Yoke Shire, Burl Ives, Luke Kelly from the album The Definitive Collection (pictured).

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