"Daughter, oh, daughter," said the king,
"Why're you so pale and wan?
I fear you have some sore sickness,
Or else you have laid with a man."

"You're welcome, you're welcome, my father dear,
You are welcome home to me.
For I have sick unto my heart
Since you've been so long on the sea."

"Cast off, cast off your berry-brown gown;
Stand naked upon the stone,
That I might know you by your shape
Whether you be a maiden or no."

So she's cast off her berry-brown gown;
She's stood naked upon the stone.
Her apron was low and her middle was round,
Her face was pale and wan.

"Oh, was it with a lord or a duke or a knight?
Or a man of birth and fame?
Or was it with one of my serving men
That's lately come out of Spain?"

"No, it wasn't with a lord nor a duke nor a knight,
Nor a man of birth and fame.
But it was with Willie O'Winsbury;
I could bide no longer alone."

The king, he has sent for his merry men all
By thirty and by three,
Saying, "Fetch me this Willie O'Winsbury,
For hanged he shall be."

But when he was brought before the king,
He was clad all in red silk.
His hair was like the strands of gold,
His skin was white as milk.

"It is no wonder," said the king,
"How my daughter's love you did win,
For if I was a woman as I am a man,
My bedfellow you would have been.

"Will you marry my daughter Janet
By the truth of your right hand?
And if you'll marry my daughter Janet,
I will make you the lord of my lands."

"Yes, I will marry your daughter Janet
By the truth of my right hand,
But I'll not have your gold and I'll not have your gear,
And I'll not be the lord of your land.

"For I have houses and I have land,
I have men at my command.
And were it not for your daughter fair,
I would not be your servant man."

He sat her upon a milk white steed
And himself on a dapple gray;
He has made her the lady of as much land
As she can ride in a long summer's day.


Lyrics submitted by RosebudReverie

Willie O'Winsbury song meanings
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