Scowan Erla Græ (King Orfeo)

Performed by Kenneth Roper.
Recorded August 17, 2022 in West Redding, Connecticut.
Cf. Child, no. 19.

There lived a lady in yon ha'
 Scowan erla græ
Her name was Lady Lisabelle,
 For yeta han grunorla

The king, he has a-huntin' gane
And left his lady all alane

The Elfin King who with his dairt,
Pierced his lady to the hert

When the king he came at noon
He's peered for Lady Lisabelle

His nobles unto him did say,
"My lady was wounded, no, she's died"

"No, they've never taen her life from me
But her corpse they'll never ever have

The king, he called his nobles on
To waltz her corpse into the hall

But when the lords were fawn asleep
Oh, out the ha' the corpse did creep

Now awa' tae the woods he's gane
And there he sat upon a stane

He sat there for seven years
'Til a company him drew near

Some did ride and some did ging,
He saw his lady then amang

The company, they then made their way
To a the hay upon a hill

And no he set him doon fu'l wae,
He's taen out his harp to play

First he played all the notes of joy,
Then he played the notes of noy

And then he played the guid gabber reel
That would make a sick heart heal

There cam a boy frae out the ha',
"You're bidden tae play amongst us all"

The Elfin King tae him did say,
"What will you hae for your to play?"

"For my play I will ye tell,
I'll hae my Lady Lisabelle

"My sister's son, the worthy thing,
The morn he will be crowned king"

"No ye can take yer lady hame
And you'll be king a' on yer yain"


Child ballad, Connecticut, United States