The Princess on the Glass Hill

Date 06 May 1976
Track ID 28935
Part 1

Track Information

Original Track ID

SA1976.045.A; SA1976.045.B1

Original Tape ID



The story of how lazy Jack got horses and armour and won the princess on the glass hill.

Jack was the youngest of three sons of a widow. He was very lazy and dirty and untidy. He never helped his mother as his brothers did. However one night he was persuaded to go and keep watch in their little cornfield to stop the deer eating the crop. He sat down leaning his back on a tree and fell asleep. A noise awoke him, and he saw a black horse with black armour tied to the saddle. He took the horse and hid it in the wood, so that his brothers would not get it. The next night he agreed to keep watch again, and this time he was wakened by a white horse, with silver armour. He hid it with the first horse. On the third night when Jack was keeping watch a brown horse with gold armour came, and Jack hid it too. The following day Jack's brothers brought news from the market that the king would come and make an announcement. Jack went with his brothers and heard the king announce from the royal coach that his daughter would marry the man who could climb on horseback the glass hill on which she was sitting, and who could catch three golden apples which she would throw. If no-one could do this within the next three days the princess would not marry anyone. On the first day countless horsemen of all kinds tried to climb the hill, but the horses' hooves slipped on the glass. Then Jack came on the black horse and dressed in the black armour and managed to get some distance up the hill. The princess threw a golden apple and Jack caught it and rode away. On the second day still no-one could climb the glass hill. Jack came on the white horse and dressed in the silver armour and got half-way up the glass hill. The princess threw him a golden apple and he again rode off, too fast for the king's soldiers to catch him. The same thing happened on the third day, and this time Jack came on the brown horse and wore the gold armour. He got to the top of the glass hill and kissed the princess, who gave him the third apple. Again he rode off before anyone could catch him. The king ordered every village and every house to be searched for the three knights, but they were not found. Jack set out for the palace in his usual dirty and untidy condition, but with the three golden apples in his pockets. Soldiers and guards tried to stop him reaching the king, thinking he was a tramp, but he said he had news for the king and princess and was eventually admitted. He presented the princess with the golden apples and revealed that he was the three knights. The king was delighted, and ordered Jack to be cleaned up and dressed in good clothes. The princess fell in love with him and they were married. Meanwhile Jack's mother and brothers wondered what had happened to him, but his brothers would not go looking for him. Then a royal carriage attended by soldiers came to their hut. Jack's mother thought Jack had got them into some kind of trouble, and begged for his life to be spared. Jack then revealed himself, and took his mother and his horses and armour back to the castle. Jack's brothers were left in the woodcutter's hut.

Before and after telling the story contributor tells his grandchildren to be quiet and listen so that they will be able to pass on the story. At the end he promises to tell them other stories.

Recording Location

County - Argyllshire

Parish - Glassary

Village/Place - Lochgilphead


English, Scots







Source Type

Reel to reel

Audio Quality