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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sovay - The Ballad

When I picked up the book Sovay by Celia Rees I had no idea that the basic premise of the book was based on a traditional ballad. I thought that it would be a good idea to introduce you to the ballad before I post my review of the book tomorrow.

While you read the lyrics, take a listen to this rendition of the ballad – a few of the lyrics change but it is overall the same. It’s not my favorite rendition, but the only complete one I could find.

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Sovay, Sovay all on a day
She dressed herself in man's array
With a brace of pistols all by her side
To meet her true love, to meet her true love, away she’d ride

As she was riding over the plain
She met her true love and bid him stand
"Stand and deliver, young sir,'' she said
"And if you do not, and if you do not, I'll shoot you dead''

He delivered up his golden store
And still she craved for one thing more
"That diamond ring, that I see you wear
Oh hand it over, oh hand it over, and your life I'll spare''

`From that diamond ring I would not part
For it's a token from my sweetheart
Shoot and be damned, you rogue" said he
"And you'll be hanged, you'll be hanged then for murdering me''

Next morning in the garden green
Young Sophie and her true love were seen
He spied his watch hanging from her clothes
Which made him blush lads, which made him blush lads like any rose

"Why do you blush you silly thing
I thought to have that diamond ring
T’was I who robbed you all on the plain
So here's your gold, love, so here's your gold and your watch and chain

I only did it for to know
If you would be a man or no
If you had given me that ring she said
I'd have pulled the trigger, pulled the trigger and shot you dead''
-Traditional Ballad

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. A rather serious test of one's love. I really like this song. I am surprised I haven't heard it before. I have enjoyed traditional ballads for many years. We attend Ren Fairs and Celtic festivals and would have expected to hear it there. Good premise for a story. Thanks for the music.

  2. Librarypat -Yeah I have to agree - quite the test! This wasn't the version of the song I really wanted to go with, but couldn't find the one I liked, but it is still very good at evoking the feeling of a true traditional ballad.


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