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Hessie Cruise Scott, vocal with guitar - The Three Little Babes

from Survey of Traditional Music, Vol. 1: From British Tradition by Field Recorders' Collective



For an in-depth discussion of this track, see the album notes: tinyurl[dot]com/V1NATnotes.


There was a bride, a beautiful bride,
And three little babes had she.
She sent them away to a foreign country
To learn their grammary.

They hadn’t been gone but a little while,
About three months and a day,
'Til death [dressed white] all over the land
And took her babes away.

She gave them a bed in the backside room,
Spread o’er with nice clean sheets.
On top of the bed was a golden spread,
She fixed a place to sleep.

“Take it off, take it off, sweet mother dear
Take it off and [say to me],
For how can we stay in this wide wicked world,
When there’s a better home for me?”

“Oh savior,” cried the dear little bride
“Do you still wear a crown?
Please send to me my sweet little babes
Tonight are in the cold cold [ground].”

While being close to Christmas time
And the nights were long and cold,
Down came running her three little babes,
Back to their mother’s home.

She fixed them a table in the very [back] room
Spread o’er with bread and wine.
“Come eat and drink, my sweet little babes,
Come eat and drink of mine.”

“We can’t eat your bread, sweet mother dear,
Or either can we drink of your wine,
For yonder stands our sweet savior;
From this we must resign.”


from Survey of Traditional Music, Vol. 1: From British Tradition, released August 7, 2023
Recorded by Mark Wilson, Medford, OR, 1964. Previously unissued.


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