Celtic Lyrics Corner > Artists & Groups > Sėleas > Play On Light > May Colvin

Play On Light May Colvin
Credits: Mary Macmaster; traditional lyrics
Appears On: Play On Light
Language: Scots-English
Other Versions: "The Outlandish Knight" on Danú's album Think Before You Think


False sir John a-wooing came to a maid of beauty rare
May Colvin was her name, her father's only heir
We wooed her but he wooed her ben, he wooed her in the hall
'Til he's gotten her consent to mount and ride awa'

They've gone down to her father's bower where all the steeds did stand
There they've chosen her father's horse, the best that's in the land
He's got on and she's got on, swiftly they did flee
'Til they came to a lonely spot, a rock by the side of the sea

Get down, get down, May Colvin, your bridal here you see
I have drowned seven young ladies and the eighth one you shall be
Cast off, cast off, May Colvin, all and your silken gown
It's ow'er good and costly to rot in the salt sea foam

Cast off, cast off, May Colvin, all and your silver shune
They're ow'er good and costly to rot in the salt sea foam
Turn around, false sir John, and look to the leaf o' the tree
For it ne'er became a gentleman a naked lady to see

He's turned himself around and about and he's looked to the leaf of the tree
So swiftly did May Colvin cast him into the sea
Help, oh help, May Colvin, oh help or else I'll drown
I'll take you back to your father's bower and set you down safe and sound

No help, no help, false sir John, no help, though I pity thee
Seven young ladies you have drowned and the eighth one won't be me
She's got onto her milk-white steed, swiftly rode away
She's come home to her father's bower before the break of the day