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Three Maidens a-Milking

Tune collected from Dorset, England.
MIDI


 Three maidens a-milking did go
 Three maidens a-milking did go
 And the wind it did blow high and the wind it did blow low
 And it quivered their pails to and fro.

 They met with a man by the way
 And one of them to him did say
 Kind sir have you the will, and kind sir have you the skill
 For to catch little birds off the tree ?

 O yes I will show you some skills
 And very good skills they be too
 If you'll come along with me to yonder shady tree
 I will catch you a small bird or two.

 To the merry greenwood they all went
 To the merry greenwood they all went
 For the birds they did whistle on every green thistle
 For they very well knew their intent.

 I laid my love under a bush
 I laid my love under a tree
 And he beat at the bush and the bird it did fly in
 A little above my love's knee.

 Then her sparkling eyes turned around
 As if she had been in a swound
 And she said, upon my word I have caught a little bird
 Picking upon its own ground.

 Pretty maidens be ruled by me
 Pretty maidens be ruled by me
 Never catch a small bird upon a green ground
 But catch them upon the green tree.