Molly, you’ve got to
put your saddle on tight.
You’ve a red, red runner
for your final flight.
You’re my only sister,
but a price is a price,
and he’s not going lower
than my sister’s life.

Would that I may go with you,
but a rule is a rule,
and the red, red rascal
is no sister’s fool.
In the Putnam meadow
grows a poison lily,
if I were a smart girl,
I would take it with me.

So she’s taken her dress up,
and she’s tied back her hair
with a winsome ribbon
such as never were,
and she looked as brazen
as the scalded sea,
when the sun rips its favors
into morning’s peace.

She’s an auburn woman
on mahogany mare,
she was dressed full bloody
for the devil’s despair.
And it was no lily
for his cardamom lips,
but for girl and filly,
and for hooves and hips.

All the plants in Putnam
grow a venomous green.
It was milk and money
made the meadows mean.
There she’s taken her flower,
and she’s borne it away,
under nettled fingers
that she daren’t display.

From the Ipswich river,
riding easterly
to the black oak sapling,
where three fences meet,
and she knows he’s waiting,
and she’s down from her horse,
and per their agreement,
she is walking backwards.

Cloven hoofprints pressing
in a ravenous reel,
it’s a phantom tarries
at her heart and her heel.
And with each foot stepping,
there’s a petal has gone
from a noxious blooming
to a maidenly tongue.

Did the devil take her?
Did the devil decide
on a red carnation
or a red-blooded bride?
He’s been up her ankle,
and he’s taken his treat,
and he’s eaten apples
full of poison lily.

Satan wears a flower
like a dandy heathen,
it’s a fairer lily
than the one that she gave him.
He’s a rowdy rascal
with a hearty complexion––
it’s the very color
of a lily stamen.

Lyrics submitted by lurkinginsagas

Molly's Lily song meanings
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