Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dark Ditties: The Unquiet Grave

"The Unquiet Grave" is an old English folk song believed to date back to at least 1400, and it details a man whose lover has been killed. As was one of the superstitions of the day, the man mourns her too much, thus preventing her from reaching peace and moving onto the next realm. While sitting at her grave, his tears awaken her from the dead, and he attempts to get a little PG-Rated necrophilia love, but she warns him that such an act would surely kill him.

Kinda creepy.

There are dozens of variations on this ballad, but this version was pulled from 1904's Ballads of Mystery and Miracle and Fyttes of Mirth, compiled by Frank Sidgwick. It's a dark little ditty, so I thought I'd pass it on to you.

The Unquiet Grave

The wind doth blow today, my love,
And a few small drops of rain;
I never had but one true love,
In cold grave she was lain.

I'll do as much for my true love
As any young man may;
I'll sit and mourn all at her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day.

The twelvemonth and a day being up,
The dead began to speak:
'Oh who sits weeping on my grave,
And will not let me sleep?'

'Tis I, my love, sits on your grave,
And will not let you sleep;
For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips,
And that is all I seek.'

'You crave one kiss of my clay-cold lips;
But my breath smells earthy strong;
If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
Your time will not be long.'

'Tis down in yonder garden green,
Love, where we used to walk;
The finest flower that ere was seen
Is withered to a stalk.'

'The stalk is withered dry, my love,
So will our hearts decay;
So make yourself content, my love,
Till God calls you away.'

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  1. Oh man, I love that! So morbid, especially this line, "For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips,
    And that is all I seek."

  2. I love it too! Never came across it before.

    I just linked to this post over at my blog!


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