Songs > Mattie Groves

Mattie Groves

A holiday, a holiday
The first one of the year
        F                             C
Lord Donnell's wife came into the church
       F         C     Dm
The gospel for to hear

And when the meeting it was done
She cast her eyes about
And there she spied young Mattie Groves
A wanderin' in the crowd

Come home with me young Mattie Groves
Come home with me tonight
Come home with me young Mattie Groves
And sleep with me tonight

Well I can't go home, I won't go home
And sleep with you tonight
By the rings on your fingers I can tell
You are Lord Donnell's wife

So what if I am Lord Donnell's wife
Lord Donnell's not at home
He is out in the high cornfields
Bringin' the yearlings home

A servant who was standing by
He heard what was said
He swore Lord Donnell, he would know
Before the sun had set

And in his hurry to carry the news
He filled his breast and ran
And when he came to the broad mill stream
He took off his shoes and swam

Mattie Groves he lay down
And took a little sleep
When he awoke, Lord Donnell
Was standing at his feet sayin'

How do you like my feather bed?
How do you like my sheets?
How do you like my lady fair
Who lies in your arms asleep?

Oh it's well I like your feather bed,
Better I like your sheets
But best of all your lady fair
Who lies in me arms asleep

Get up get up! Lord Donnell cried
Get up as quick as you can
It'll never be said in fair England
That I slew a naked man

Well I can't up, I won't get up
I won't get up for my life
For you have two long beaten swords
And I have nary a knife

It's true I have two beaten swords
They cost me deep in the purse
And you shall have the best of them
And I shall have the worse

And you shall strike the very first blow
And strike it like a man
I will strike the very next blow
I'll kill you if I can

So Mattie struck the very first blow
And he hurt Lord Donnell sore
Lord Donnell struck the very next blow
And Mattie struck no more

Then Lord Donnell, he took his wife
And he sat her on his knee
Sayin', Who do you love the best of us
Dead Mattie Groves or me?

Then spoke up his own dear wife
Never heard her speak so free
I'd rather have a kiss from dead Mattie's lips
Than you and your finery

Then Lord Donnell, he jumped right up
Loudly he did squall
He struck his wife right through the heart
He pinned her against the wall

A grave, a grave Lord Donnell cried
To put these lovers in
But bury my lady at the top
For she was of noble kin