> Shirley Collins > Songs > Go from My Window
> Steeleye Span > Songs > Go from My Window / Tim Hart: Come to My Window
> June Tabor > Songs > Go from My Window

Go (Away) from My Window / Come to My Window

[ Roud 966 ; Ballad Index ChWI146 ; trad.]

Jeannie Robertson of Aberdeen sang a fragment of Go Away from My Window, in a recording made at her home in 1955, where she is accompanied by Josh McCrae on guitar, on her 1957 Riverside album Songs of a Scots Tinker Lady. Hamish Henderson commented in the sleeve notes:

Here we have a haunting fragment of a folksong, the origin of which seems to be obscure. The title phrase is familiar in both European and American folksong, but this does not mean, of course, that songs in which it occurs have a common origin. It may well be a composed song based on some folk original and already on the lips of the people and in the process of becoming a folk song again.

Iona Fyfe sang Away from My Window as the title track of her 2018 CD Away from My Window. She noted:

Hamish Henderson collected an unaccompanied recording of Jeannie Robertson singing the song in 1955 which is archived on Tobar an Dualchais. Jeannie's version differs from that of Stanley [Robertson]'s in length, lyrics and melody—it also mentions a token ring. It's noted that this version is American, but similar to a text found in the North of Scotland. It is thought that the Appalachian singer, Jean Ritchie, who visited Scotland in the 1950's, taught this to Jeannie, who then recorded it, with guitar accompaniment from Josh McCrae, and released it on her 1957 Riverside album Songs of a Scots Tinker Lady. In 2009, the Elphinstone Institute released the song among 34 other recordings of Stanley Robertson in an album titled The College Boy. It is thought that the song is about a sexual sin which has taken place, but Jeannie informed Stanley that the song was actually about a young girl who got involved in crime, and robbed a bank with a partner. The girl was caught at the crime scene, but the man was not and this is what the terrible sin is about. Stanley comments that he learnt the song from “Burnter's Bonnet's Maggie” and that the tune is a piping retreat that he used to play.

Found in Peter Buchan's Ancient Ballads and Songs Volume 2, Roud 966

Shirley Collins sang a quite different Go from My Window on her and her sister Dolly's 1970 album Love, Death & the Lady. She commented in the album's notes:

From a printed source English Folk Songs edited by William Alexander Barrett (price 2/6d). He notes that the song was known in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Tim Hart's sang Come to My Window in 1979 on his solo album Tim Hart, and Steeleye Span—by then without their former band member Tim Hart—recorded Go from My Window in 1996 for their album Time.

Claire Lloyd with Folly Bridge sang Go from My Window, “a night-visiting song dating back to the 16th century”, in 1992 on their second WildGoose cassette, Unabridged.

June Tabor recorded this in 1997 for her CD Aleyn. She commented in her album notes:

This song has 16th century origins and is quoted in Beaumont and Fletcher, Otway and Middleton. The tune, from Norfolk, is found in Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time.

Eliza Carthy sang Go from My Window in 2002 on her cousin Oliver Knight's first solo album, Mysterious Day, with Chris Parkinson playing harmonica. This track was also included in 2003 on the Eliza Carthy anthology The Definitive Collection.

Fay Hield learned Go from My Window from Ian Giles of Folly Bridge fame in an Oxford pub, and sang it in 2016 on her third CD, Old Adam.

Lyrics

Jeannie Robertson sings Go Away from My Window Iona Fyfe sings Away from My Window

Go away from my window, don't bother me,
Go away from my window, don't enter in.

Go away from my window, do not venture in,
Go away from my window, do not enter in.

I sent you back your letter, I sent you back your ring,
Go away from my window, don't enter in.

I'll tell my brothers, I'll tell him of my sins,
Go away from my window, don't enter in.

I will tell my dear brother of my terrible sin,
Go away from my window, do not enter in.

Go away from my window, take your form from my door,
For my heart, it is sad and my spirit is poor.

I will tell my old father, it will soon break his heart,
Of my terrible sin, of what you took apart.

Go away from my window, you have cause me much strife,
For my heart, it is so low that I might end my life.

I will tell my old mother for she will understand,
But I may well go to another strange land.

Go away from my window, do not bother me,
For my sister, she told me of things that would be.

She said that when I met you, that day I would rue,
For no good could ever come from a man such as you.

Go away from my window, do not venture in,
Go away from my window, do not venture in.

Shirley Collins sings Go from My Window Folly Bridge sing Go from My Window

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the wind is in the West and the cuckoo's in his nest
And you can't have a lodging here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the wind is in the West and the cuckoo's in his nest
And you can't have a lodging here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
Oh, the weather it is warm, it will never do thee harm
And you can't have a lodging here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the weather it is warm, it will never do thee harm,
And you can't have a lodging here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the wind is blowing high and the ship is lying by
And you can't have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the wind is blowing high and the ship is lying by
And you can't have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
The wind and the rain have brought him back again
But he can't have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the window and the rain they have brought him back again
And you can't have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
Oh, the devil's in the man that he will not understand
He can't have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the devil's in the man that he will not understand
But you can't have a lodging here.

Tim Hard sings Come to My Window Steeleye Span sing Go from My Window

Come to my window, my love, my dove,
Come to my window, my dear.
There's nothing I can do but to sit and wait for you
And you'll find a welcome here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
The wind is in the West and the cuckoo's in his nest
And you can't have a harbouring here.

Come to my window, my love, my dove,
Come to my window, my dear.
Like a river to the sea you will find your way to me
And you'll find me waiting here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
The weather it is warm, it will never do thee harm
But you can't have a harbouring here.

Come to my window, my love, my dove,
Come to my window, my dear.
Like the moon across the sky you look happier by and by
And you'll find me waiting here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
The wind is blowing high and the ship is lying by
And you can't have a harbouring here.

Come to my window, my love, my dove,
Come to my window, my dear.
Like the wind and like the rain you'll be coming back again
And you'll find me waiting here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
The window and the rain have brought him back again
But you can't have a harbouring here.

Come to my window, my love, my dove,
Come to my window, my dear.
There's nothing I can do but to sit and wait for you
And you'll find a welcome here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
The devil's in the man that he will not understand
He can't have a harbouring here.

June Tabor sings Go from My Window Eliza Carthy sings Go from My Window

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the wind is in the West and the cuckoo's in her nest
And you can't have a lodging here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the weather it is warm, it will never do you harm
And you can't have a lodging here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
Oh the weather it is warm, it will never do you harm
And you won't have a welcome here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the wind is rising high and the ship is lying by
And you can't have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the wind is blowing nigh and our ship is lying by
And you won't find a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
Oh, the wind and the rain have fetched him back again
But he can't have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
Oh, the devil's in the man that he will not understand
That he can't have a lodging here, fare thee well,
That he can't have a lodging here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
Oh the devil's in the man that will not understand
That he won't find a lodging here.

Go from my window, my love, my dove,
Go from my window, my dear.
For the wind is in the west and the cuckoo's in his nest
And you won't have a welcome here.

Fay Hield sings Go from My Window

Go from my window, my love, my love,
Go from my window, my dear.
The wind is in the West and the cuckoo's in his nest,
You cannot have a harbouring here, fare thee well,
You cannot have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my love,
Go from my window, my dear.
The weather it is warm and'll never do you harm,
You cannot have a harbouring here, fare thee well,
You cannot have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my love,
Go from my window, my dear.
The wind is blowing high and his ship is lying nigh,
You cannot have a harbouring here, fare thee well,
You cannot have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my love,
Go from my window, my dear.
The wind and the rain have brought him back again,
You cannot have a harbouring here, fare thee well,
You cannot have a harbouring here.

Go from my window, my love, my love,
Go from my window, my dear.
The devil's in the man that he cannot understand,
You cannot have a harbouring here, fare thee well,
You cannot have a harbouring here.