Border Maiden (The)
BORDER MAIDEN, THE. Scottish, Air (4/4 time). G Minor ('A' and 'C' parts) & G Major ('B' and 'D' parts). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB'CC. A popular ballad composed by Glasgow pianist and composer Emile Berger (1838-1900).
A maiden sat 'lone in her green wood bow'r,
A sun beam fell on her golden hair,
And she sang as she wove the silken flow'r,
In the banner her own true love should bear.
The war cry ran through the morning grey,
O, bravely our lads of the Border fought,
And aye in the thick of the deadly fray,
Shone the silken banner the maiden wrought.
A knight on the moorland brown and bare,
Lies cold and dead, when the fight is done,
And the maiden will moan in her wild despair,
When the spearmen return at the set of sun.
For home must be guarded whatever betide,
Home must be guarded whatever betide,
And the brave lads of Yarrow must saddle and ride
When the beacon is lit on the border.
Signal fires, or beacons, were lit to signal to the countryside of the approach of an enemy. In Scotland, they stretched from Hume to Soutra, onward to Edinburgh, and across the Forth into Fife and Stirling, to call men to war.
Printed source: Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 30, p. 39.
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