Believed to be written during the Bubonic Plague or “Black Death” during the late 14th and early 15th century, this song reflects on some of the lessons in the Initiatory Degree. English Folk Singer Norma Waterson sets the song up and sings magnificently. The lyrics can be found below.
|Waterson:Carthy sings Death and the Lady|
|As I walked out one day, one day
I met an aged man by the way.
His head was bald, his beard was grey,
His clothing made of the cold earthen clay,
His clothing made of the cold earthen clay.
|I said, “Old man, what man are you?
What country do you belong unto?”
“My name is Death—have you not heard of me?
All kings and princes bow down unto me
And you fair maid must come along with me.”
|“I’ll give you gold, I’ll give you pearl,
I’ll give you costly rich robes to wear,
If you will spare me a little while
And give me time my life to amend,
And give me time my life to amend”
|“I’ll have no gold, I’ll have no pearl,
I want no costly rich robes to wear.
I cannot spare you a little while
Nor give you time your life to amend,
Nor give you time your life to amend”
|In six months time this fair maid died;
“Let this be put on my tombstone,” she cried,
“Here lies a poor distressed maid.
Just in her bloom she was snatched away,
Her clothing made of the cold earthen clay.”