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Hatchlings
by Emily Portman

I have studied shell traces on your soft downy heads
How different the markings before the fire had fled
I have studied your faces all those terrible lies
But I find in their place only fathomless skies
Hatchlings, my hatchlings
Double youg twins
Twice born, my darlings
with two sets of skin
Such a cruel little riddle I was set by the face
To bo brought down so low by one thought so great
And I wish and I wish 'till the black leaves my veins
That the softest of feathers never brought me such pain
Hatchlings, my hatchlings
Double young twins
Who's going to take you under their wing?
For if you hear wing beats won't you crawl to the shade
For it mite be your father on his nightly raid
Come to take you reshape you in the crook of his thigh
Then who's going to sing you forsaken lullabies
Hatchlings, my hatchlings
Double young twins
I wonder, I wonder
What this wide world will bring
They tell me to be chosen is an auspicious sign
That shame is no different however royal the line
And next time he's wearing his clever disguise
I won't be fooled by his feathers for there's blood in his eyes

Contributed by Colin L. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

Gerhold Stolz

This is a sublime arrangement - just voice and harp -  but what a voice. It conveys no obvious emotion yet is both strong and plaintive in itself. The words mix in a repetition - which slows the course of the narrative - allows us to feel the true horror and tragedy of this particular murderous sibling rivalry. The harp is both beautiful and dark -  beginning with the lightest touch and flowing delicately and atmospherically - intensifying and interceding as the story unfolds - stronger, deeper and more emphatic. Her voice flutters at one point - as if shocked by the unfolding tragedy. Whoever arranged this is a rare talent indeed.

Mark Lyon

this would have been a top hit 300 years ago

J WG

It was = there are over 500 versions, of which this one of the nicest.

Billy Morrison

Appropriately haunting, isn't it?

Mary Chris

💜`、•♪`、💜`、•♪
Two little sisters living in a bower
Oleander yolling
The youngest was the fairest flower
Down by the waters rolling

A noble knight came riding by
Oleander yolling
Two little sisters caught his eye
Down by the waters rolling

And he courted the eldest with diamonds and rings
Oleander yolling
The other he loved above all things
Down by the waters rolling

"Sister, sister, come down to the broom
Oleander yolling
We'll hear the black birds change their tune
Down by the waters rolling."

So she took her sister by the hand
Oleander yolling
And led her down to the river strand
Down by the waters rolling

And as they stood at the river's brim
Oleander yolling
The eldest pushed her sister in

"Sister, sister, reach me your hand
Oleander yolling
And you'll be the heir to my riches and land
Down by the waters rolling."

"Oh Sister, sister, that will never be
Oleander yolling
Till salt and oatmeal grow of a tree
Down by the waters rolling."

"Oh sister, sister, lend me but your glove
Oleander yolling
And you shall have my own true love
Down by the waters rolling."

"It's your own true love I'll have and more
Oleander yolling
But you shall never come to shore

For your cherry cheeks and your long yellow hair
Oleander yolling
Made me a maid for evermore."

Sometimes she sank, sometimes she swam
Oleander yolling
Till she came to a miller's dam
By the waters rolling

The miller and his daughter stood at the door
Oleander yolling
And watched her body floating to shore
Down in the waters rolling

"Oh father, father, draw your dam
Oleander yolling
For it's either a mermaid or a swan
Down in the waters rolling."

The miller he dragged her out on to the shore
Oleander yolling
And he stripped her of all that she wore
Down in the waters rolling

He laid her body on the bank to dry,
Oleander yolling
A minstrel he came riding by
Down by the waters rolling

And he made a harp of her breast-bone
Oleander yolling
Whose sound could melt a heart of stone

He took three locks from her long yellow hair
Oleander yolling
With them strung a harp so rare
Down by the waters rolling

And he took the harp to the king's high hall
Oleander yolling
There was the court assembled all
Down by the waters rolling

And he laid the harp there upon a stone,
Oleander yolling
The harp began to play alone.

But the only tune that the harp would play was
Oleander yolling
The only tune that the harp would play
Down by the waters rolling

It sang: "Yonder sits my love the king,
Oleander yolling
How he'll weep at my burying,
By the waters rolling

And yonder sits my sister the queen
Oleander yolling
She drownèd me in the cold, cold stream,
Down in the waters rolling"


Lyrics for Two Sisters by Emily Portman
https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Emily-Portman/Two-Sisters

Lefwa Gastir

Folk och rackare-'Två systrar'. It's a very old song well knowed in most of northern europe. Very beautyful but sad.

Anselma Reich

This is too beautiful to handle...

Chadd Lokki

Yolling seems like an odd way to describe a sound made by a plant. It does suit the creepy content of the song though.

AshleeJo Shepherd

SHE KILLED HER SISTER FOR A KING???? WTF???

Thefranticfox

this is so beautiful i couldn't stop crying =,)

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