The Black Bull of Norroway


“Seven long years I served for thee,

The bloody shirt I wrang for thee,

The glassy hill I clomb for thee,

Wilt thou not waken and turn to me?” 


‘The Black Bull of Norroway” from Andrew Lang’s Blue Fairy Book is one of the most beautiful of all fairy tales and is the one cited by J.R.R. Tolkien in his essay “On Fairy Stories” as an example of the “eucatastrophe” when sorrow turns suddenly to joy. Here it is retold in a song, with the lady’s song to the sleeping knight as its refrain. At the end, the refrain is repeated three times, followed by the spoken words, “He woke, and turned to her.” 


The song is written for the harp but can also be played on the guitar or other instruments. The sheet music presents the song in lead-sheet form, including words, melody, and chord symbols, printed in black on ivory paper with a Scottish bull illustration by Elly Fithian. 4 pages, 8˝” x 11”. Level: intermediate. $3.00.


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