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    Eppie Morrie

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Eppie Morrie 

Traditional, arr. Calhoun, recorded on Telfer's Cows. 

Child #233 
Translated from version done by Ewan MacColl (I heard him sing it, hand to ear, sitting backward on a chair, at the Singer's Club in London in 1977). 

Willie and his Highlandmen 
Came from the Carron side; 
To steal away Eppie Morrie 
For she wouldn't be his bride. 

Out did come her mother then, 
It was a moonlit night; 
She couldn't see her daughter 
For their swords did shine so bright. 

"Hands off of me, Willie 
Hands off of me! 
There's but one man in all Strathdon 
Shall wedded be with me." 

They've taken Eppie Morrie then 
On horseback bound her on; 
And then they rode to the minister's house 
As fast as horse could run. 

And Willie took a pistol out 
And set it to the minister's breast; 
"It's marry me, marry me minister 
Or else I'll be your priest." 

"Hands off of me, Willie 
Hands off of me! 
There's but one man in all Strathdon 
Shall wedded be with me." 

"Hands off of me, Willie, 
Hands off of me! 
It's I've no right to marry you 
Except she's willing as thee." 

They've taken Eppie Morrie 
Since a wedding couldn't be, 
And they rode over Carron side 
As fast as horse could flee. 

Then mass was sung and bells were rung 
And all were bound for bed; 
And Willie and Eppie Morrie 
To one bed they were led. 

He took his shirt from off his back, 
His hat from off his head; 
He threw away the chamber key, 
Stood naked by the bed. 

"Hands off of me, Willie, 
Hands off of me! 
Before I lose my maidenhead 
I'll try my strength with thee." 

He kissed her on the lily breast 
And pinned her shoulders down, 
But still she fought and still she spat 
And turned her back around. 

"Hands off of me, Willie, 
Hands off of me, 
Before I lose my maidenhead 
I'll fight with you till day." 

All through the night they wrestled 
Till the moon was o'er the hill;
And Willie fought and Willie spat 
But he couldn't have his will. 

It was early in the morning 
With the rising of the sun;
In came the maid with the good red wine 
And Eppie's shirt and gown. 

"Get up, get up young woman 
And drink the wine with me." 
"You might have called me maiden 
For I'm still the same as thee." 

"Too bad for you, Willie, 
If you couldn't prove a man; 
And taken the lassie's maidenhead 
She would've had your hand." 

"Hands off of me, lady 
Hands off of me. 
There's but one man in all Strathdon 
Shall wedded be with me." 

Then in did burst young John Forsyth 
With four and twenty men; 
Says "Let the lady go, Willie 
Or you'll never rise again." 

"Go, get to me my horse, Willie, 
Get it like a man; 
And send me back to my mother 
A maiden as I cam." 

"The sun shines o'er the Western Hills 
By the lamplight of the moon; 
Go saddle your horse, young John Forsyth 
And whistle, and I'll come soon."