Queen Jane

from by Tannara

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The 170th Ballad published by James Frances Child in The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Originating from England, it's believed to refer to the death of King Henry VIII’s wife Jane Seymour.


Queen Jane lay in labour full six days or more,
Till the women grew weary and the midwives gave o'er.
They sent for King Henry to come with great speed
To be with Queen Jane in her hour of need.

King Henry came to her and he sat by her side.
Sing “What ails thee my Jeannie? What ails thee my bride?”
“O Henry, O Henry, do this one thing for me
Rip open my right side and find my baby.”

“O Jeannie, O Jeannie, that never will do.
It would lease thy sweet life and thy young baby too.”
Well, she wept and she wailed 'til she fell into a swoon
And her right side was opened, and her baby was found.

Well, the baby was christened the very next day
While his poor dead mother a mouldering lay.
Six men went before her and four more travelled on
While loyal King Henry stood mourning alone.

Well, he wept and he wailed until he was sore
Saying, “The flower of all England will flourish no more.”
He sat by the river with his head in his hands
Saying, “My merry England is a sorrowful land.”


from Trig, released July 27, 2016
The Death of Queen Jane (Trad. English, arr. Tannara)



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