“Edward”

Alternate titles: “Son Davie, Son Davie”; “What's That Blood On Your Sword?”; “The Murdered Brother”; “Dear Son”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1765 (Percy)
Keywords: homicide brother questions
Found in: Britain(Scotland(Aber),England) US(Ap,MW,NE,SE,So,SW) Ireland

Description

A mother questions her son about his recent deeds and the blood on his weapon. After many evasions, he reveals that he has killed his brother.

Supplemental text

Edward [Child 13]
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

Edward, Edward

From Percy/Wheatley, I.i.v, pp. 83-84

"This curious song was transmitted to the editor by Sir
David Dalyrymple, Bart., late Lord Hailes."

Quhy dois your brand saw drop wi', bluid,
          Edward, Edward?
Quhy dois your brand saw drop wi', bluid,
    And quhy sae sad gang yee, O?
O, I hae killed my hauke sae guide,
          Mither, mither:
O, I hae killed my hauke sae guide,
    And I had nae mair bot he, O.

Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,
          Edward, Edward.
Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,
    My deir son I tell thee, O.
O, I hae killed my reid-roan steid,
          Mither, mither:
O, I hae killed my reid-roan steid,
    That erst was saw fair and free, O.

Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair,
          Edward, Edward.
Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair,
    Sume other dule ye drie, O
O, I hae killed my fadir deir,
          Mither, mither:
O, I hae killed my fadir deir,
    Alas! and wae is me, O!

And quhatten penance wil ye drie for that,
          Edward, Edward?
And quhatten penance wil ye drie for that,
    My deir son, now tell me, O.
Ile set my feit in yonder boat,
          Mither, mither:
Ile set my feit in yonder boat,
    And Ile fare ovir the sea, O.

And quhat wul ye doe wi' your towirs and your ha',
          Edward, Edward?
And quhat wul ye doe wi' your towirs and your ha',
    That were sae fair to see, O?
Ile let thame stand til they doun fa',
          Mither, mither:
Ile let thame stand til they doun fa',
    For here nevir mair maun I bee, O.

And quhat wul ye leive to your bairns and your wife,
          Edward, Edward?
And quhat wul ye leive to your bairns and your wife,
    Quhan ye gang ovir the sea, O?
The warldis room, let thame beg throw life,
          Mither, mither:
The warldis room, let thame beg throw life,
    For thame nevir mair wul I see, O.

And quhat wul ye leive to your ain mither dear,
          Edward, Edward?
And quhat wul ye leive to your ain mither dear,
    My deir son, now tell me, O.
The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
          Mither, mither:
The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
    Sic counseils ye gave to me, O.

Notes

This song and "Lizie Wan" have cross-fertilized so heavily (especially in the ending, where the murderous son is cross-examined) that it is often not possible to tell fragmentary versions apart. Eddy's text, for instance, has only the questions and answers, and might be either song. - RBW

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Child 133, "Edward" (2 texts)
  2. Bronson 13, "Edward" (25 versions -- of which, however, #10 is actually "Lizie Wan" -- plus 2 in addenda)
  3. BarryEckstormSmyth p. 433, "Edward" (notes only)
  4. Percy/Wheatley I, pp. 82-84, "Edward, Edward" (1 text)
  5. Tunney-StoneFiddle, pp. 111-112, "Edward" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. OBoyle 25, "What Brought the Blood?" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Randolph 6, "What Blood on the Point of Your Knife" (3 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes) {A= Bronson's#9, B=#6a, D=#23}
  8. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 21-23, "What Blood on the Point of Your Knife" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 6A) {Bronson's #9}
  9. Eddy 6, "Edward" (1 fragmentary text that might be this or "Lizie Wan")
  10. Flanders/Olney, pp. 100-101, "Edward" [listed in error as Child 12] (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #2}; see also "Edward Ballad" on pp. 96-100, which is closer to "The Twa Brothers"
  11. Flanders-Ancient1, pp. 208-212, "Edward" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #2}
  12. Davis-Ballads 7, "Edward" (4 texts plus a fragment; two tunes entitled "What Is That On the End of Your Sword," "Edward"; 1 more version mentioned in Appendix A) {Bronson's #19, #22}
  13. Davis-More 8, pp. 60-67, "Edward" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
  14. BrownII 7, "Edward" (3 texts)
  15. Hudson 5, pp. 70-72, "Edward" (2 texts)
  16. Ritchie-Southern, pp. 6, "Eward" (1 text, 1 tune)
  17. Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 180-184, "Edward" (3 texts, with local titles "Edward," (no title), "The Murdered Brother"; 3 tunes on pp. 404-406) {Bronson's #5, [b], #3}
  18. JHCoxIIA, #4, pp. 16-18, "Edward" (1 text, 1 tune)
  19. Leach, pp. 85-88, "Edward" (3 texts)
  20. OBB 65, "Edward, Edward" (1 text)
  21. Friedman, p. 156, "Edward" (2 texts)
  22. PBB 63, "Edward" (1 text)
  23. Niles 10, "Edward" (1 text, 1 tune)
  24. Lomax-FSNA 9, "Edward" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #2}
  25. Gummere, pp. 169-170+342, "Edward" (1 text)
  26. SharpAp 8 "Edward" (10 texts, some of them fragmentary, 10 tunes; the "B" and "F" fragments might be "Lizie Wan") {Bronson's #13, #20, #11, #1, #7, #16, #14, #15, #12, #8}
  27. Sharp/Karpeles-80E 8, "Edward" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #1}
  28. Hodgart, p. 119, "Edward" (1 text)
  29. MacSeegTrav 5, "Edward" (1 text, 1 tune)
  30. TBB 7, "Edward" (2 texts)
  31. LPound-ABS, 9, pp. 23-24, "Edward" (1 text)
  32. Darling-NAS, pp. 59-60, "How Come That Blood?" (1 text)
  33. HarvClass-EP1, pp. 56-58, "Edward" (1 text)
  34. Silber-FSWB, p. 223, "Edward" (1 text)
  35. DT 13, EDWARD1* EDWARD2*
  36. ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #421, "Edward" (1 text)
  37. Maud Karpeles, _Folk Songs of Europe_, Oak, 1956, 1964, p. 4, prints the Danish version, "Svend I Rosensgaard," with a loose English translation; the first few verses are quite close to the English, then turns to a list of impossible wonders
  38. ST C013 (Full)
  39. Roud #200
  40. BI, C013