Fine Flowers in the Valley
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Barry Taylor

Information
Lyrics
This is the Scottish variant to The Cruel Mother.

According to Child, two fragments of this ballad appear in the last quarter of the 18th century. Child notes several other versions of the tune including The Rose o Malinde and the Minister's Daughter of New York.

A broadside of The Duke's Daughter's Cruelty: Or the Wonderful Apparition of two Infants whom she Murther'd and Buried in a Forrest, for to hide her Shame was published in the 1690s.

This is Child Ballad #20 (The Cruel Mother).

For a complete list of Child Ballads at this site go to Francis J. Child Ballads.

She sat down below a thorn
Fine flowers in the valley
And there she has her sweet babe borne
And the green leaves they grow rarely.

Smile nae sae sweet, my bonnie babe
Fine flowers in the valley
An' ye smile sae sweet, ye'll smile me dead
And the green leaves they grow rarely.

She's ta'en out her little penknife
Fine flowers in the valley
And twinned the sweet babe o' its life
And the green leaves they grow rarely.

She howket a grave by the light o' the moon
Fine flowers in the valley
And there she's buried her sweet babe in
And the green leaves they grow rarely.

As she was going to the Church
Fine flowers in the valley
She saw a sweet babe in the porch
And the green leaves they grow rarely
.
O sweet babe, an' thou wert mine
Fine flowers in the valley
I wad cleed thee in silk so fine
And the green leaves they grow rarely.

O mother dear, when I was thine
Fine flowers in the valley
You did na prove to me sae kind
And the green leaves they grow rarely.
Additional Versions
Information From The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
See Bibliography for full information.
And Bruce Olsen's Roots of Folk: Old English, Scots, and Irish Songs and Tunes