Bonny Boy (I), The

DESCRIPTION: The girl says, "I once had a boy, a bonny bonny boy, A boy that I thought was my own." But the boy has taken another girl. She adds, "Let him go... I never will mourn." The ending varies; she may unsuccessfully seek another or refuse to do so
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1845 (broadside Bodleian Harding B 16(31b)) (Chappell dates it to "the reign of Charles II")
KEYWORDS: courting separation loneliness abandonment betrayal love
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW) Ireland Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (12 citations):
GreigDuncan6 1141, "I Once Loved a Boy" (4 texts plus a single verse on p. 553, 2 tunes)
Broadwood/Maitland, pp. 146-147, "My Bonnie, Bonnie Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eddy 90, "Now, My Bonny, Bonny Boy" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Peters, p. 131, "Once I Courted a Pretty Little Girl" (1 text, 1 tune, with the genders reversed)
FSCatskills 37, "The Bonny Boy' (1 text, 1 tune)
KarpelesCrystal 43, "My Bonny, Bonny Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-100E 52, "My Bonny, Bonny Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-Sharp 65, "My Bonny Bonny Boy" (1 text)
Reeves-Circle 60A, "The Grey Hawk" (1 text)
Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 488, "My Bonny Boy" (1 text)
SHenry H215, pp. 393-394, "The Bonny Bonny Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #293
Anne Briggs, "My Bonny Boy" (on Briggs1, Briggs3)
Daisy Chapman, "I Once Had a Boy" (on SCDChapman01)

Bodleian, Harding B 16(31b), "The Bonny Boy," J. Pitts (London), before 1845; also Firth c.18(127) "The Bonny Boy," unknown, n.d.
cf. "Dear Companion (The Broken Heart; Go and Leave Me If You Wish To, Fond Affection)" (lyrics)
cf. "The Grey Hawk"
cf. "The Twitcher" (tune)
Cupid's Trappan
The Bonny Bonny Bird
NOTES [56 words]: Don't be misled by Reeves-Circle 60A title of "The Grey Hawk." There is no bird here: it begins, "I once loved a boy and a bonny sweet boy." The title goes with Reeves-Circle 60B, which is indexed here with "Cupid's Trepan (Cupid's Trappan, The Bonny Bird)," where you can find an ancestor of this song and "The Disappointed Lover (I)." - BS
Last updated in version 5.0
File: FSC037

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