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Timothy Renner - The Witch Mother

from The Witch Mother by Strange Familiars / Timothy Renner

/

lyrics

King Willie he sailed over the raging foam
.
He wooed a wife and he brought her home.
He wooed her for her long and golden hair.
His mother wrought a mighty care.

A weary spell she's laid on her
She'd be with child for many long years
But this poor child she'd never bear
And in her bower she lies in pain
King Willie at her bedhead he did stand
And down his cheeks salten tears did run.

King Willie back to his mother did run
And he's gone there as a begging son -
Saying my true love has this noble steed
The likes of which you n'er did see.
On every part of this horse's mane
There's hanging 50 silver bells and ten

.
This goodly gift shall be your own
If you'll turn back to my own true love
That she might bear my baby son.
No of this child she'll never lighter be
Nor from sickness will she e'er be free -
But she will die and she will turn to clay
And you will wed with another maid.
Then sighing said this weary man,
As he returned to his home again,
I wish my life was at an end.

King Willie back to his mother did run
And he's gone there as a begging son -
Saying my true love has this golden girdle
With jewels stitched all around the middle.


On every part of this girdle's hem
There's hanging 50 silver bells and ten.


This goodly gift shall be your own

If you'll turn back to my own true love

That she might bear my baby son.


No of this child she'll never lighter be
Nor from sickness will she e'er be free -
But she will die and she will turn to clay
And you will wed with another maid.
Then sighing said this weary man,
As he returned to his home again,
I wish my life was at an end.

Then up and spoke his noble queen

She told King Willie of a plan
That she might bear their baby son
.
She said you must get down to the market place
 -
And you must buy a loaf of wax -
And you must shape it as a babe that is to nurse
 -
And you must make two eyes of glass.


Invite your mother to the christening day
Then you must stand there close as you can be

All for to hear what the witch does say
.

King willie he did get to the market place
 -
And he did buy a loaf of wax
 -
And he did shape it as a babe that is to nurse
 -
And he did make two eyes of glass.


He asked his mother to the christening day
 -
Then he did stand there close as he could be

All for to hear what the witch did say
.

O how she stormed and how she swore
.
She spied a babe where none had been before.




Said, who was it untied the nine witch knots

Braided amongst his lady's locks?

And who was it took out the combs of care

Braided amongst his lady's hair?

And who was it the master kid did slay

That ran and slept underneath her bed?

And who was it untied her left shoe string?

And who was it that let her lighter be

That she might bear this little baby?

And it was Willie untied the nine witch knots

Braided amongst his lady's locks.

And it was Willie took out the combs of care

Braided amongst his lady's hair
.
And it was Willie the master kid did slay
.
And it was Willie untied her left shoe string
And it was Willie that let her lighter be.
And she did bear a baby boy -
And bright the blessings that be them upon.


credits

from The Witch Mother, released December 11, 2021
traditional, arrangement by Timothy.

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Stone Breath Red Lion, Pennsylvania

Stone Breath is not new. It is cracked. Broken. Imperfect. Hidden. Weathered by the seasons.

We sing of ghosts and of forgotten paths through forest and fallow field.

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