Oct 22

Oh, the Dreadful Wind and Rain!

Sometimes called, Twa Sisters (twa = two in old Scotland). In other regions it may be called The Cruel Sister, and still others may refer to this tune as Binnorie. It may also be simply referred to as The Wind and Rain..

The origins of this song are hard to determine. Some historians say it comes from Briton, perhaps Scotland or Ireland, though there are many versions found throughout the United States with a wide range of different lyrics added over the years. Essentially the story remains the same; A nobleman courted the younger of two sisters for her hand in marriage. The elder sister was angry that she was passed over for her younger and more beautiful sister. So, the elder sister invited the younger for a walk along the stream and then, thinking that she would be eligible as the nobleman’s wife if her sister were gone, pushed her little sister into the river to drown. The younger girl cried out for help, but her evil sister refused. As the poor victim’s body was carried away downstream, she was discovered by the miller who lived along the stream. Mills were most commonly built near a flowing river, as the energy of the water flow was used to power the mill. The old miller saw the child floating in the water and extended a wooden pole to save her. He retrieved the young girls body from the water and along came a fiddle maker, who snipped strands “of her long yellow hair” to make a fiddle bow. Then with various other body parts assembled a complete fiddle that produced a lovely instrument with a sound so sweet that “could melt a heart of stone”, but “the only tune that fiddle would play was Oh, the Dreadful Wind and the Rain.”

*

Oh, the Wind and Rain

There were two sisters came walkin’ down the stream
Oh the wind and rain
One came high pushed the other one in
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

Johnny gave the youngest a gay gold ring
Oh the wind and rain
He didn’t give the eldest one a thing
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

She pushed her into the river to drown
Oh the wind and rain
And watched her as she floated down
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

Pushed her in the river to die
Oh the wind and rain
And watched her body go floatin’ by
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

Floated ’till she came to the miller’s pond
Oh the wind and rain
Father, oh father there swims a swan
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

The miller pulled her out with a line and hook
Oh the wind and rain
Brought that fair maid from the brook
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

Left her on the bank to dry
Oh the wind and rain
When a fiddlin’ fool come passing by
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

Down the road came a fidder fair
Oh the wind and rain
Took thirty strands of her long yellow hair
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

And he made a fiddle bow of her long yellow hair
Oh the wind and rain
He made a fiddle bow of her long yellow hair
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

Made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
Oh the wind and rain
Made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

And he made a little fiddle of her little breast bone
Oh the wind and rain
With a sound that could melt a heart of stone
Oh the dreadful wind and rain

But the only tune that the fiddle would play
Was oh the wind and rain
The only tune that the fiddle would play
Was oh the dreadful wind and rain

*

 

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/oh-dreadful-wind-rain/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.