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The Dornishman's Wife

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"This song really is all about the ending."
Bronn[src]

The Dornishman's Wife is a popular and ribald song in Westeros.

The song is from the perspective of a man who had sexual relations with a Dornishman's wife and was apparently mortally wounded by her husband.

History

Season 5

On the way to the Water Gardens of Dorne, Bronn sings the song, until Jaime Lannister interrupts him just as, according to Bronn, he is "coming to the best part", since the song is "all about the ending."[1] Later, in jail at the Water Gardens, Bronn sings the whole song as the Sand Snakes listen in an adjacent cell with a mixture of annoyance from Obara and Nymeria and amusement from Tyene.[2]

Lyrics

From "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken":

The Dornishman's wife was as fair as the sun
And her kisses were warmer than spring
The Dornishman's blade was made of black steel
And its kiss was a terrible thing
The Dornishman's wife would sing as she bathed
In a voice that was sweet as a peach

From "The Gift":

Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done
The Dornishman's taken my life
But what does it matter? For all men must die
And I've tasted the Dornishman's wife, I have
I've tasted the Dornishman's wife

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Mance Rayder sings the song when Jon enters his tent for the first time. Jon remembers it while Mance is executed.

Mance, disguised as "Abel the bard", sings it at Ramsay's wedding, but with a slight change: instead of tasting a Dornishman's wife, he sings of tasting a northman's daughter. Theon thinks that the singer may lose his tongue (and other body parts) for that, but Roose smiles and Ramsay laughs aloud.

In the books, the complete lyrics are:

The Dornishman's wife was as fair as the sun,
and her kisses were warmer than spring.
But the Dornishman's blade was made of black steel,
and its kiss was a terrible thing.
The Dornishman's wife would sing as she bathed,
in a voice that was sweet as a peach,
But the Dornishman's blade had a song of its own,
and a bite sharp and cold as a leech.
As he lay on the ground with the darkness around,
and the taste of his blood on his tongue,
His brothers knelt by him and prayed him a prayer,
and he smiled and he laughed and he sung,
"Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done,
the Dornishman's taken my life,
But what does it matter, for all men must die,
and I've tasted the Dornishman's wife!"

See also

References

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