The biblical books of Exodus and Judges each contain a long narrative song with striking analogies, performative as well as structural, to the Scots ballads that William Motherwell writes about in his 1827 Minstrelsy Ancient and Modern. The second of these songs, the “Song of Deborah,” also shares a motif with two Scots ballads in particular, the motif of the bereft ladies. This motif may be described as the introduction at the end of the song, for ironic effect, of ladies not implicated in the main action of the plot who rather wait in vain for the return of their husbands, unaware that they have already perished. This motif proves to be rare in the oral tradition of Europe and Asia Minor. But apparently it has entered the popular imagination of United States Americans, as is demonstrated by the common use of the probably inaccurate term widow's walk to describe a vernacular architectural feature originally found on some New England homes, and by the choice of the motif to conclude a vernacular poem published on the internet.