The Twa Brothers
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Two brothers are wrestling when a blade that one of them is carrying mortally wounds the other; occasionally, one of them stabs the other intentionally.
Attempts to staunch the blood are not successful, and the dying brother tells the living one (usually) how to bury him, and (always) a long list of excuses to give the rest of the family, about his traveling to distant locations, to avoid admitting his death, ending with the injunction to tell his true love the truth.
Some variants end there.
In still others, the true love laments him so long that it disturbs the dead man in his grave, or she wants a kiss from the dead man—as in "The Unquiet Grave" or some variants of "Sweet William's Ghost"—and he asks her to stop and let him rest, or refuses it because it will kill her. In the American variant "The Rolling of the Stones", she "charmed her true love out of his grave."
- sung by Hobart Smith on Hobart Smith, Blue Ridge Legacy (2001) originally recorded 1942
- sung by Texas Gladden on Texas Gladden, Ballad Legacy (2001) originally recorded 1946
- sung by Lucy Stewart on The Voice of the People , Good People take Warning (2012) originally recorded 1955
- sung by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger on Two-Way Trip (1961)
- sung by Belle Stewart on The Voice of the People, O'er his grave the Grass Grew Green (1988) originally recorded 1976
- sung by Sheila MacGregor (Belle Stewart's daughter) on The Muckle Sangs (Scottish Tradition 5) (1975)
- sung by Silly Wizard on Caledonia's Hardy Sons (1978)
- sung by Nic Jones on the 1971 album Nic Jones
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