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Percy Grainger - Father and Daughter

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Published on Jun 26, 2010

A "Faeroe Island Dancing Ballad" by Percy Grainger.
Monteverdi Choir & English Country Gardiner Orch. / John Eliot Gardiner

Father to his daughter said,
'Is there a man you wish to wed?'
(Alone in the forest he's sleeping.)

Daughter to her father said,
'Never have I seen a man I wished to wed.'
(Alone in the forest he's sleeping.)

'Tell me, who was the valiant knight
Rode away from your bower last night?'

'That was never a knight so fair,
Nobody but my page boy there!'

'Tell me, whose was the golden spear
Glistening in the moonshine clear?'

'That was never a spear of gold,
Nothing but the rays of the moonshine cold!'

'Tell me! Who was the valiant knight,
Stood at the foot of your bed last night!?'

'That was never a knightly man,
Nobody but my hand-maid Ann!'

'Who did ever a hand-maid see,
Kilted her skirts above the knee?'

'Dew falls heavy on meadow and lea,
They kilt their skirts above the knee.'

'Whose little babe up in your bower
Did I hear crying at the midnight hour?'

'That was never a babe you heard;
Nothing but the cry of my little pet bird!'

'Tell me, whose was the cradle white
Standing at the foot of your bed last night?'

'That was never a cradle white--
Nothing but the loom of my silk, so bright!'

Forth to the woods her father did ride;
Presently the knight he there espied.

Forth from the scabbard his sword he drew;
Hacked her lover in pieces two.

Then he severed off the knight's fair hand;
Fastened it onto his saddle band.

Then he severed off the head so fair;
Tied it to his saddle by its golden hair.

Home again the father to his garth did ride;
Presently his daughter he there espied.

'Tell me! Whose are the head and the hand,
Dangling down from my saddle band?'

'Sooner shall the waves run dry in the sea,
Than that my lover unavenged shall be.'

She kindled the house with a burning brand.
Dead lies the father at the daughter's hand.
(Alone in the forest he's sleeping.)

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