Martin Carthy And Dave Swarbrick - Lord Thomas And Fair Eleanor lyrics

Lord Thomas, he was a bold forester
And chasener of the King's deer.
Fair Eleanor, she was a fair woman,
Lord Thomas he loved her dear.

"Oh riddle, oh riddle, dear mother," he cries,
"Oh riddle it both as one,
Whether I'll marry fair Ellen or not
And leave the brown girl alone."

"Oh, the brown girl she's got houses and land,
Fair Eleanor she's got none.
Therefore I charge thee to my blessing
To bring the brown girl home."

Lord Thomas, he went to fair Eleanor's tower
And he knocked so loud on the ring.
There was none so ready as Ellen herself
To let Lord Thomas in.

"What news, what news, Lord Thomas," she cries,
"What news do you bring unto me?"
"Oh, I've come to invite you to my wedding
Beneath the sycamore tree."

"Oh God forbid, Lord Thomas," she cries,
"That any such thing should be done.
For I thought to have been the bride myself
And you to have been the groom."

"Oh riddle, oh riddle, dear mother," she cries,
"Oh riddle it both as one,
Whether I go to Lord Thomas's wedding
Or better I stay at home."

"There's a hundred of your friends, dear child,
A hundred of your foes.
Therefore I beg you with all my blessing
To Lord Thomas's wedding don't go."

But she dressed herself in best attire,
And her merry men all in green.
And every town that she went through,
They took her to be some queen.

Lord Thomas, he took her all by the hand,
And he led her all through the hall,
And he sat her down in the noblest chair,
Among the ladies all.

"Is this your bride, Lord Thomas," she cries,
"I'm sure she looks wonderful brown.
When you used to have the fairest young lady
That ever the sun shone on."

"Despise her not," Lord Thomas, he cries,
"Despise her not unto me.
For more do I love your little finger
Than all of her whole body."

And he'd a rose all in his hand,
And he's given it kisses three,
And reaching across the brown girl herself,
He laid it on Eleanor's knee.

Oh, the brown girl, she had a little pen-knife,
And it was both long and sharp,
And between the long ribs and the short,
She pierced fair Eleanor's heart.

"Oh, what is the matter?" Lord Thomas, he cries,
"Oh cannot you very well see?
And can you not see my own heart's blood
Come trickling down my knee?"

Lord Thomas's sword is hung by his side
As he walked up and down the hall.
And he took off the brown girl's head from her shoulders
And flung it against the wall.

Oh, he put the handle to the ground
And the sword unto his heart.
No sooner did these three lovers meet,
No sooner did three lovers part.

Oh he put the handle to the ground
And on it he did fall.
And there was an end of these three lovers
Through spite and malice and gall.