The Twa Corbies – Child 26


Jist imagine twa craws sittin on a tree an plannin their next meal. That’s fit this sang’s aboot. Ane o them his spotted a deid knicht lying ahin a dyke an tells the ither ane he’ll mak a rare denner for them. They even describe the tastiest bitties tae eat first.


This sang’s aroon three hunner year auld an there’s an English version o’t caed The Three Ravens, but fit ane cam first we dinna ken.

It’s still affa popular, despite, or maybe because o, it’s gruesome story.


As I was waaking aa alane
I heard twa corbies maakin a mane
The ane untae the ither did say
Far sall we gang and dine the-day, o
Far sall we gang and dine the-day

It’s in ahin yon aul fell dyke
I wot there lies a new slain knight
An naebody kens that he lies there
But his hawk, and his hound, and his lady fair, o
His hawk, and his hound, and his lady fair

His hound is tae the huntin gane
His hawk tae fetch the wild-fowl hame
His lady’s taen anither mate
So we may maak oor denner sweet, o
We may maak oor denner sweet

It’s ye’ll sit on his white breest-bane
And I’ll pike oot his bonny blue een
Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
We’ll theek oor nest fan it grouws bare, o
We’ll theek oor nest fan it grouws bare

There’s mony a ane for him maaks mane
But nane sall ken far he is gane
Oer his white banes fan they are bare
The wind sall blaw for evermair, o
The wind sall blaw for evermair


Ballad: The Twa Corbies (Child 26)
Singer: Emma Spiers
Accompanists: Martin MacDonald, Guitar / Tom Spiers, Fiddle



There’s a couple o traditional Scottish tunes for this sang, but they dinna wirk sae weel as this aul Breton tune caed Al Alarc’h that it wis set till by a collectir caed Morris Blythman in the late nineteen fifties, and published in ‘101 Scottish Songs’ in 1962.

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