Little Sir William
Language: English 
Easter day was a holiday
Of all the days in the year,
And all the little schoolfellows
Went out to play
But Sir William was not there.

Mamma went to the School Wife House
And knocked at the ring,
Saying, "Little Sir William
if you are there,
Pray let your mother in."

The School Wife open'd the door
And said "He is not here today.
He is with the little schoolfellows
Out on the green
Playing some pretty play."

Mamma went to the Boyne water
That is so wide and deep, saying,
Little Sir William if you are there,
Oh pity your mother's weep."

"How can I pity your weep, mother
And I so long in pain?
For the little penknife
Sticks close to my heart
And the School Wife hath me slain.

Go home, go home my mother dear,
And prepare my winding sheet,
For tomorrow morning before eight o'clock,
You with my body shall meet.

And lay my prayer book at my head,
And my grammar at my feet,
That all the little schoolfellows
as they pass by
May read them for my sake."


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]