Oh, Look At Me, I'm A Scottish Border Ballad

Oh, look at me, I’m a Scottish border ballad….let me list all the things my mother gave me….oh I know ever so many people who are dead…should I maune or should I mickle….guess how many chickens I have….ooh, something is happening thrice without fail….ooh guess who owns Carterhaugh, it’s me, I own it….ooh I’m a Scottish border ballad, guess how many sisters there were?…three, oh look at me my name is Margaret, oh look at me my name is Annie, oh look at me my name is Janet, ooh look at me I’m ga’n o'er the sea, ooh look at me I’m an abrupt shift from past to present tense, ooh look at me, my love is on a ship, or my love has a ship, or my love is a ship, ooh, look at me, I’m a Scottish border ballad and I’m repeating myself, ooh I’m a Scottish border ballad and all of my sons are rats now, or crows, or I wish they were, ooh I’m waiting to meet Sweet Willie, ooh I’m waiting to meet Fair Thomas, ooh I’m in the woods and I’m waiting on a nut-brown maid, ooh a rose is growing out of my grave and it’s twining with a briar that’s growing out of your grave, big deal, ooh I’m a Scottish border ballad and I’m noticing a corpse, and I’m asking the priest who yon corpse is, ooh I’m a Scottish border ballad and I’m finding out I know that corpse…ooh look at the lauch getting lauched…ooh I’m all aboone…ooh look at me, I’m a Scottish border ballad and all the ladies are doing something, with their gold kems in their hair…ooh look at me, I’m asking a question that I’m going to immediately answer…ooh I’m going to describe three things and then the third thing is going to be the most thing of the things, with the most thinglike qualities, first thing, second thing, and third thing will be, the most of the thing o’ a’ o’ tha three, ooh look at me I’m a Scottish border ballad and I’m ending tragically…ooh look at me I’m a Scottish border ballad and I’m averting a tragic ending at the last possible second…ooh there’s the queen of Elfland over there…ooh there’s three marvels to behold over there…oh look at me I’m a Scottish border ballad and I’m offering a choice between three rare auld gifts…ooh look at me I’m taking place in liminal spaces….like the hunt….ooh look at that harp, it’s enchanted probably…I’m refusing to go to market…ooh, for lang, lang will something happen…ooh I hope something doesn’t transform into something else at a particular time of night, or during a particular….ooh nothing better happen at this crossroads…ooh nothing better happen when I talk to this stranger I’ve met along the road…ooh nothing better happen when I answer these riddles…ooh, I’m a Scottish border ballad and I sure hope 500 years from now no folk singers ever adapt me into a cycle…ooh I hope sweet Parcy my lover isn’t in any danger out there in the storm…ooh guess how many cows I have…ooh I’m a Scottish border ballad and guess how many alternative titles I have…six…like Raggle Davy, and Black Jack Saddle, and Captain Seven, and Yellow Heave O, and Margery May, and Margaret’s Disappointment…and Mauny Faa…ooh I hope no one ever indexes me according to type…ooh I hope everyone listens to my pleas here under the gallows-tree…ooh someone in Norroway is quarrelsome….look at me, with my brindle-cows….I have sheep too…etc

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