There lived a wife at Usher's Well
And a wealthy wife was she
She had three stout and stalwart sons
And she sent them o'er the sea

They hadna been a month frae her
Not one month and a day
Till cauld, cauld Death come o’er the land
And he stole those boys away

She said “I wish the wind would never mair blaw
Nor fish swim in the flood
Till my my three boys come hame tae me
In earthly flesh and blood
In earthly flesh and blood”

Well it fell aboot the Martinmas time
When the nichts are lang and mirk
The carlin wife’s three boys come hame
And their hats were o’ the birk

That neither grew in any wood
Nor down by any wall
But at the gates o Paradise
Aye, the birken tree grew tall

So she has laid the table braid
Wi bread and blood red wine
“Come eat and drink my bonnie boys
Come and eat and drink o mine”

“Oh mither bread we cannae eat
Nor can we drink the wine
For cauld, cauld death is Lord of All
And to him we must resign”

“For the green, green grass is at oor heads
And the clay is at oor feet
And how your tears come tumbling down
Tae wet the winding sheet
Tae wet the winding sheet”

So she has made a bed full braid
And she’s made it lang and deep
She's laid it all wi golden thread
And she’s lulled those boys tae sleep

But the cock he hadna crowed but once
Tae welcome in the day
When the eldest tae the youngest says
“Brother we must away”

“For the cock does craw, the day does daw
And the chunnerin worm does chide
And if we're missed out o’ oor place
Then a sair pain we maun bide”

“For the green, green grass is at oor heads
And the clay is at oor feet
And how your tears come tumbling down
Tae wet the winding sheet
Tae wet the winding sheet”

She said “I wish the wind may never blaw
Nor fish swim in the flood
Till my three sons return to me
In earthly flesh and blood
In earthly flesh and blood”


Lyrics submitted by crumbs

The Wife of Usher's Well song meanings
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