A conflation of 6 different versions, from 14 to 3 verses each (which hardly tells the story). The song seems to have traveled from the eastern mountains through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky.
Lord Thomas was a gay forester|
And the lodge-keeper of the king's deer
Fair Ellender was as fair a woman
Lord Thomas, he loved her well
2. "Father, come father, come riddle to me,
3. The Brown girl she has house and land,
4. He got on his horse and he rode and he rode,
5. He went till he came to fair Ellender's court
6. What news have you brought unto me, Lord Thomas?
7. Bad news, bad news, Lord Thomas," she said,
8. "Come come riddle to me, dear mother," she says
9. "Many may be your friends, daughter
10. "Yes, many may be my friends, mother
11. She turned around and dressed in white|
Her sisters dressed in green,
And every town that they rode through
They took her to be some queen.
12. They rode and they rode 'til they came to the hall,
13. He took her by her lily white hand
14. "Is this your bride, Lord Thomas?" she said
15. "Despise her not, fair Ellender," he said
16. The Brown girl she was standing by
17. "Oh, what's the matter?" Lord Thomas said
18. "Oh, are you blind, Lord Thomas?" she said
19. Lord Thomas he was standing by,
20. He held the grip against the wall,
21. "Oh father, oh father, go dig my grave,|
Go dig it wide and deep,
And place fair Ellender in my arms
And the Brown girl at my feet."
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