Three Little Babes
official lyrics from The Milk-Eyed Mender
There was a knight, and a lady bright
and three little babes had she.
She sent them away, to a far country,
to learn their grammerie.
They hadn't been gone but a very short time,
about three months and a day,
when the lark spread o'er this whole wide world
and taken those babes away.
It was on a cold, cold Christmas night,
when everything was still,
and she saw her three little babes come running
come running down the hill.
She set them a table of bread and wine,
that they might drink and eat;
she spread them a bed of winding sheet,
that they might sleep so sweet.
"Take it off, take it off," cried the eldest one;
"Take it off, take it off," cried she,
"For I shan't stay here, in this wicked world,
when there's a better one for me."
"Cold clods, cold clods, inside my bed,
cold clods, down at my feet —
The tears my dear mother shed for me
would wet my winding sheet."
An Appalachian folk song, JN likely heard it via Texas Gladden.