The Wife at Usher's Well

03:27
Castlebay
10/01/2017
Public Domain

Story

During the time of open doors, spirits could visit their loved ones and expected to be made welcome, yet they could not eat mortal food and must return to the land of the dead before dawn. If the host continued to mourn, they would be admonished for keeping the spirit from rest.


Lyrics

There was a knight and a lady bright

Three little babes had she

She sent them away to the north country

For to learn there grammerie

 

They hadn't been gone but a very short time

'Bout three months and a day

When Death, cruel Death, came riding along

And he carried those babes away

 

And when she heard her babes were dead

She did mourn, she did weep

'Till they cam to her one dark midnight

Saying,"Mother we cannot sleep."

 

She set the table. She gave them wine,

Gave them bread, and gave them meat

But they were not able to touch a bite.

"We are dead: we cannot eat."

 

"Mother, oh mother, we cannot stay.

We must go e're break of dawn.

Your weeping keeps us from our rest

In our graves where we belong."

 

 

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    New Years by the Bay,  Belfast