[George R. Kinloch]

THE
BALLAD BOOK

EDINBURGH:
1827

A Diplomatic Transcription in HTML
by Robert B. Waltz
Preserving the pagination and illustrations of the original

Based on the Edmund Goldsmid reprint.

xiv+88 pages

Contents: Transcriber's Note * Frontispiece (p. i) * Preface: Biographia Leslyana (p. iii) * The Songs (p. 1) * Index


Transcriber's Note

If you are reading this, you presumably know the work of George R. Kinloch, author of this work and of Ancient Scottish Ballads (both 1827). The transcriber therefore will not spend time to describe it, as he has nothing to add to the little in the standard reference works. These are not, in a sense, great works for the ballad scholar; sources are not cited, so they do not give us all the information about the songs that we might wish -- and in any case there are no tunes. In addition, F. J. Child had access to the Kinloch manuscript, and often consulted it to get behind Kinloch's published texts.

And yet, this book remains significant for its early texts of many significant songs -- not just the "Child Ballads" it contains, but also, e.g., "The Derby Ram," of which it contains one of the earliest texts (though already worked over by tradition). That seems sufficient reason to make the book available now in electronic form.

Though that conversion proved more difficult than the transcriber expected. The old typeface of the Goldsmid reprint did not scan especially well, and much had to be retyped, with the usual assortment of errors -- not all of which, it will be evident, can be easily noticed through the Scots dialect. But the transcriber asks your patience. Many of the curiosities are, in fact, present in the original print. Kinloch or his printer, for instance, could not seem to decide whether the common Scots adjective for "fair, handsome" is in fact spelled "bonny" or "bonnie" (sometimes interchanging them in the same verse of the same song!), nor how to spell the nickname of Charles Leslie (was he really "muscle-mou'd"?). In addition, punctuation is excessive and thoroughly erratic, while the capitalization almost capricious. The transcriber has done his best; if you spot an error in the texts, please help us to correct it.

After some hesitation, I decided to annotate the text, but only very lightly; for the most part, apart from details about the printing, I have contented myself with commenting on where Kinloch's texts stand in the Ballad tradition. Annotations have been placed in the right margin to avoid interference with Kinloch's actual text.

The index at the end was compiled by the transcriber; Kinloch did not supply one.

This transcription being in HTML, there has been no good way to indicate the page breaks in the original -- yet it seemed both desirable and necessary to do so. The key is that page numbers always appear at the top of a page. Where the original had no page number (it is always omitted at the beginning of a new song), it has been shown in square brackets. Those who wish to see continuous song texts can delete them easily enough.

This transcription is presented as the first item in the Fresno Folklore Reprints series, intended to make rare items of folk music and folklore studies available in electronic format for use by all. Feel free to spread the word, and to use this in any way that is helpful to you. But we are making these materials available at no charge; we ask that you not charge for reproducing or distributing them.

Transcription and annotations
copyright ©2002 by
Robert B. Waltz
Completed December, 2002


[i.]

Page numbers are shown at tops of pages, as in the original. If the original omits a page number, it is shown in brackets [ ], as with this page.
[ii.]
page ii is blank in the original
[iii.]

BIOGRAPHIA LESLYANA


CHARLES LESLY (better known by the name of "Mussel mou'd Charlie," from a singular protrusion of his nether lip, in the form of a muscle -- and whose portraiture adorns our title-page,) was, for the greater part of last century, a celebrated peripatetick Ballad-singer in the Town and County of Aberdeen.

Of his early years, nothing authentic can be discovered; though Tradition knows him only as an itinerant ballad-singer from his youth. Fame, however, speaks of him as a rank and irreclaimable Jacobite, having been OUT in the rebellions of "Fifteen" and "Forty-five;" and as having not only aided the great cause with his sword, but likewise employed his pen in its favour. He is said to have been the author of sundry Jacobite compositions, and especially of that severe phillippic on the Duke, commencing, "Will ye go to Crookieden."

These songs not only cheered and animated his fellow

The Duke: William Augustus, First Duke of Cumberland (1721-1765) was the Hannoverian commander at the Battle of Culloden (April 16, 1746), and came to be known as "The Butcher" because of his treatment of the Highlanders then and thereafter.
iv.

soldiers during the fatigues of their arduous enterprises in the days of yore, but were also, in later times, the chief sources of their Author's livelihood: for, somewhat Homer-like, did the venerable Charles Lesly sing his own compositions through the streets of Aberdeen, for his daily subsistence; and it is not to be doubted that he ever wanted a share of that gueed awmous for which the place is remarkable, although we do not hear that upon his death there was any competition for the honour of his birth-place among the cities of Aberdeenshire.

As Charles advanced in years, he made the town of Aberdeen his most permanent residence, and there maintained, to the last, the field of ballad-singing against an host of more youthful competitors, who attempted, by the promulgation of modern and more refined ditties, to depose poor Charlie from the enviable monopoly which he had so long enjoyed. Fortunately, however, for this ancient hero of rhyme, the more sober citizens, who had so long listened with pleasure to his "deep and hollow roar," and admired the eccentricity of his person and habits, began to vindicate his rights, as being founded on a clear prescriptive title, he having "danced and sung," according to the biographical poem annexed, no less a period than one hundred and five years! Indeed, to lose Charlie, would have been depriving Aberdeen of a singular portion of living anti-

v.

quity, that had become quite identified with the Town and its inhabitants. The consequence was, that Charlie's rivals were put to the rout, and himself allowed to rest in his ancient monopoly unmolested.

Death at last "closed the mussel-mou" of Charlie Lesly, who departed this life at Old Raine, his native place, in the year 1792, at the extraordinary age of 105. This sorrowful event was announced to the world, by the following paragraph in the North British Weekly Magazine for the month of October, 1792: "Died lately at Oldrain, in Aberdeenshire, aged 105, Charles Lesly, a hawker, or ballad-singer, well known in that country by the name of Mussel mou'd Charlie. He followed his occupation till within a few weeks of his death."

Like other public characters whose demise gives occasion to many political intrigues and bickerings, Charles Lesly had scarcely breathed his Iast till numerous brethren of the craft flocked to the metropolis of the shire, ambitious of acquiring the office which he had so long and so honourably maintained. The office, however, seems, from the want of a competent successor, to have been put in commission; for we find, in the twenty-third verse of the annexed ballad, that "Blind Jamie," and "Ross" were appointed to deliver out the mussel mou'd relics to the inconsolable Aberdonians.

vi.

With respect to the political creed of the subject of this memoir, we can hardly, after all, think him such a determined Jacobite as has been represented. For although his before mentioned phillippic against the commander of the Royal army in "the forty-five" is well enough for a rank Jacobite, yet it cannot be denied that Prince Charlie himself comes in for a pretty severe rub on occasion, as well as the Duke; which shows that our Author was a good deal of an humourist:

Will ye go to Crookieden,
  Bonny laddie, Highland laddie,
There you'll see Charlie and his men,
  My bonnie Highland laddie.

All the whigs will gang to hell,
  Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie,
CHARLIE he'll be there himsell,
  My bonny Highland laddie.

Satan sits in the black nook,
  A bonnie laddie, Highland laddie,
Riving sticks to roast the Duke,
  My bonnie Highland laddie.

Notwithstanding the public avocations of Mr. Lesly, and the many hazards and hardships he must have suf-

vii.

fered during so long a life, he seems to have been not insensible to the more social duties of the married state. For we find, in the outset of one of his ballads, the following notion of his purchase of a Wife in Edinburgh:

"I bought a wife in Edinburgh
  for a bawbee; --
I got a farthing in again,
  To buy tobacco wi." --

Whether any rise in the price of wives in this Scottish Smithfield has taken place since the days of Mrs. Lesly, we do not know; only this we know, that there is a considerable advance in the article of tocher: for all that mussel mou'd Charlie received by his matrimonial bargain was, according to his poetical biographer, the sum and quantity of -- "a farthing's worth of cut tobacco!!"* -- Eheu! quam tempora mutantur! --

In a collection of Penny Ballads, penes Mr. Maidment, there is one entitled, "A new song, called the Jacobite's Lamentation;-Composed and sold by Charles Lesly, Flying Stationer, the Poet." It is printed along with "The True Britain's Thought," and "Johnnie


* Being one half of the price, which was returned by way of luck-penny

viii.

Armstrong's last good night;" and bears the imprint, "Edinburgh, Printed for Charles Lesly, Flying Stationer, the Author, 1746." If it were not the case that the orthodox Jacobite tenets of mussel-mou'd Charlie were abundantly conspicuous from other sources, this "Jacobite's Lamentation," which is a violent tirade against his favorite doctrines, and patry, would stagger our belief. We are, therefore, inclined to attribute it solely to the roguery of some wag, in order to torment poor Charlie, whose faith burned with almost insane fervour for the opposite party.

Considering his popular fame as a poet and ballad-singer, the steadiness of his political principles, and his extreme old age, we may safely aver in the words of the following ditty, composed on the occasion of his death, that "few men like him are now alive."

"SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI!"

[ix.]
Page ix is blank in the original
[x.]

[xi.]

MUSSEL MOU'D CHARLIE.


Air -- "Highland Laddie"

O dolefu' rings the bell o' Raine!
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
For Charlie ne'er will sing again,
  My bonnie Highland laddie,

Grim death has clos'd his mussel mou'
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
Be this a warning bell to you,
  My bonnie Highland Laddie.

He's dead, and shortly will be rotten,
  Bonny laddie, Highland Laddie,
But he must never be forgotten,
  My bonnie Highland Laddie.

xii.

And how he went to Crookieden,
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
To see Prince Charlie's Highlandmen
  My Bonny Highland Laddie.

And how, for comfort of his life,
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
In Edinbrugh he bought a wife,
  My bonny Highland Laddie.

Each Ballad a bawbee him brought,
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
And for that sum his wife he bought,
  My bonny Highland Laddie.

Her tocher was not quote worth a plack O,
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
A farthing's worth of cut tobacco,
  My bonny Highland Laddie.

The song he sung, and many more,
  Bonnie Laddie, Highland Laddie,
And deep and hollow was his roar,
  My bonny Highland Laddie.

Those songs in the lang nights of winter,
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
He made, and Chalmers* was the printer
  My bonny Highland Laddie.

* A Printer in Aberdeen

xiii.

O mourn, good master Chalmers, mourn,
  Bonnie Laddie, Highland Laddie,
For Charlie will no more return,
  My bonny Highland Laddie.

Blind Jamie now, and Ross, they say,
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
Maun sing your books when he's away
  My bonny Highland Laddie.

And so farewell, good people all,
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
Both old and young, both great and small,
  My bonny Highland Laddie.

Good luck betide you, late and early,
  Bonny Laddie, Highland Laddie,
And may you live as long as Charlie,
  My bonny Highland Laddie.

[xiv.]
Page xiv is blank in the original
[1]

I.

THE WIDOW O' WESTMORELAND


There was a widow in Westmoreland,
  And she never had a child but ane;
And she prayed, aye, baith nicht and day,
  She micht keep her maidenhead lang.

"O haud your tongue, my mither dear,
  And say na mair to me,
For a jolly young man o' the king's life-guard
  My maidenhead's tane frae me."

"Awa, awa, ye ill woman,
  Some ill death mat ye dee!
If a jolly young man o' the king's life-guard,
  Your maidenhead's tane frae thee."

2

But she is to her true-love gane,
  As fast as gang cou'd she;
Says, "Gie me back my maidenhead,
  For my mammy sair dings me."

He's buskit her, and he's deckit her,
  And he's laid her on his bed;
He laid her head whare her feet was afore,
  Gied her back her maidenhead.

He buskit her, and he deckit her,
  Wi' a rose in ilka han';
And bade her come to Saint Mary's kirk,
To see his rich weddan.

Now she is on to her mither gane,
  As fast as gang cou'd she;
Says, "I'm as leal a maiden, mither dear,
  As that night ye bore me."

He buskit me, and he deckit me,
  And he laid me on his bed;
He laid my head whare my feet war afore,
  Gied me back my maidenhead.

3

He buskit me, and he deckit me,
  Wi' a rose in ilka han';
Syne bade me come to Saint Mary's kirk,
  To see his rich weddan.

"O never on fit," her mither said,
  "But on hie horse ye sal ride;
And four-and-twenty gay ladies
  Sal a' walk by your side."

"O wha is this," the bride she cried,
  That comes saie hie to me?
Is this the Widow's dochter o' Westmoreland
  Wha gaed hame and told her mammie?

How could she do't, how did she do't,
  How could she do't? -- for shame!
Eleven lang nichts I lay wi' a man,
  But never told that to ane."

"If eleven lang nichts ye've lain wi' a man,
  My bed-fellow ye's never be;
I'll tak the Widow's dochter o' Westmoreland
  Wha gaed hame and told her mammie."

This is the only known printing of this song, elsewhere known as "The Widow of Westmoreland's Daughter," in the nineteenth century. Child knew it (he quotes other items from this volume), but is said to have rejected it for indecency.
[4]

II.

THE SLEEPY MERCHANT


There cam a merchant to this toun,
I wat he was a clever loon,
And at the door as he stood boun,
  He chappit and cam in:
    He called for a bonnie lass,
    He called for a bonnie lass,
    He called for a bonnie lass,
  He cou'dna lie his leen.

The merchant's bed it was weel made,
And the merchant lad in it was laid,
A dram for him she did provide,
  Bade him drink and lie down;
    For ye are the sleepy merchant
    For ye are the sleepy merchant
    For ye are the sleepy merchant
  That canna lie your leen.

5

And whan the sun it was weel up,
The lassie startit to her feet, --
"I am as leal a maiden yet,
  As I lay doun yestreen:
    For ye're but a sleepy merchant,
    For ye're but a sleepy merchant,
    For ye're but a sleepy merchant,
  That canna lie your leen.

And whan the breakfast it was by,
Fareweel to her, was a' he could say,
Fareweel to her, was a' he could say,
  But I will come again:
    For he was a sleepy merchant,
    For he was a sleepy merchant,
    For he was a sleepy merchant,
  That cou'dna lie his leen.

And whan the market it was oure,
To that same house he did repair,
And at the door as he stood there,
  He chappit and cam in:
    He called for the bonnie lass,
    He called for the bonnie lass,
    He called for the bonnie lass,
  That lay wi' him yestreen.

6

The merchant's bed it was weel made,
And the merchant lad in it was laid,
A dram for him she did provide,
  Bade him drink and lie down;
    "For ye're but a sleepy merchant
    For ye're but a sleepy merchant
    For ye're but a sleepy merchant
  Ye canna lie your leen."

Atween the bowster and the wa',
I wat he quickly toom'd it a',
I wat he quickly toom'd it a',
  And syne sat up and sang:
    "Come to your bed my bonnie lass,
    Come to your bed my bonnie lass,
    Come to your bed my bonnie lass,
  I canna lie my leen."

And lang afore the brak o' day,
Richt kindly to him she did say,
Richt kindly to him she did say,
  "Pray, tell to me your name?"
    "Ca' me the sleepy merchant,
    Ca' me the sleepy merchant,
    Ca' me the sleepy merchant,
  That canna lie my leen.

7

But fesh* ye ben the cradle plaid,
And I'll gie ye a braid new faik,t
Be sure ye dinna let them see't
  Till I gae frae the toun:
    For they'll mock ye wi' the merchant,
    For they'll mock ye wi' the merchant,
    For they'll mock ye wi' the merchant,
  That ye lay wi' yestreen."

And whan the breakfast it was bye,
Unto her comrades she did say, --
"Braw news hae I to tell the day,
  Sin the merchant's gane frae toun:
    For I hae got a braw new faik,
    And frae my merry merchant lad,
    And frae my merry merchant lad,
  That I lay wi' yestreen."

But whan she gaed but to fesh it ben,
Behaud what follow'd after then,
There was naighing but the cradle plaid,
  Wi' the tows that tied the same:


* Fesh--fetch.
t Faik--a checked plaid usually worn by shepherds

8

    "Foul fa' ye for a merchant,
    Ye're but a cheating merchant,
    Ye're but a cheating merchant,
  Ye might hae lain your leen."

When twenty weeks war come and gane,
This merchant he came back again,
And at the door as he stood boun,
  He thus begoud and sang:--
    "Mind ye upo' the merchant,
    Mind ye upo' the merchant,
    Mind ye upo' the merchant,
  That cou'dna lie his leen?"

The lassie she sat at her wheel,
The tears cam trckling to her heel;
Then up and to the door she ran --
  "Ha! ha! he's come again!
    Here comes my merry merchant,
    Here comes my merry merchant,
    Here comes my merry merchant lad,
  That wadna lie his leen."

"O my dear, how may this be,
That ye're sae blae aneath the ee,
That ye're sae blae aneath the ee,
  Ye hae na lain your leen.

9

    Why did ye mock the merchant,
    Why did ye mock the merchant,
    Why did ye mock the merchant,
  Ye bear his pack in your wame!

He's tane the lassie by the hand,
And tied her up in wedlock band,
And now she is the merchant's wife,
  And she lives in Aberdeen:
    For she's married wi' the merchant,
    She's married wi' the merchant,
    She's married wi' the merchant lad,
  And he needna lie his leen.

[10]

NOTE

ON

THE SLEEPY MERCHANT


That ye're saw bale aneath the ee,
      Ye hae na lain your leen.
-- v. 14.

It is considered among the vulgar a sure sign of the unchastity of a young woman to have the under eyelid of a blackish or dark blue colour. Tytler, in "The bonnie brucket lassie," takes notice of this characteristic:

    The bonnie brucket lassie,
      She's blue beneath the een.

And in the old song of "The shearing is no for you," we observe the proverbial expression

    You're blue below the ee,
    Whar a maiden shouldna be

Physicians, however, do not recognize this as a mark of unchastity; but all the howdies declare that it is a breeding sign. "If under the lower eyelid the veins be swelled and appear clearly

11

and the eyes be something discoloured, it is a certain sign she is with child, unless &c.--Aristotle's Masterpiece. Green was also a sign of conception:--

    "Four and twenty belted knights
      Were playing at the chess;
    When out and came her, fair Janet.
        As green as ony gress."

Young Tamlane.

This ballad was known to Child (see his notes to "The Broomfield Hill"), but he set it aside as too literary.
[12]

III.

THE MAGDALENE'S LAMENT

And she, poor jade, withoutten din,
Is sent to Leith-wynd fit* to spin,
Wi' heavy heart, and claithing thin,
      And hungry wame,
And ilka month a well-paid skin
      To mak her tame.

Ramsay.


As I cam in by Tanzie's wood,
  And in by Tanzie's mill,
Four-and-twenty o' Geordie's men
  Kiss'd me against my will.
      Diddle dow, &c. &c.


* The house of correction formerly at the foot of Leith-wynd, Edinburgh.

13

For ance I was a lady fair,
  And lik'd the young men well,
But now I'm in the correction-house,
  A woful take to tell!

When we were in the tavern-house,
  We liv'd in a good case,
We neither wanted meat nor drink,
  Nor bonnie lads to kiss.

But now I'm in the correction-house,
  And sair, sair do I mourn;
But now I'm in the correction-house,
  And whipped to my turn.

A wee drap cabbage-kail in a cog,
  A cog and a wee drap burn;
A wee drap cabbage-kail in a cog,
  And a bodle bap aboon.

But if I were at libertie,
  As I hope to be soon,
I hope to be a married wife
  Whan a'thir days are done.

A "magdalene" is, of course, a prostitute -- though it should be noted that there is no evidence that the Biblical Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. She was mentally disturbed, but there is no reason to think the sinful woman of Luke 7:36-50 is the same as the Mary we meet in Luke 8:2 and the other gospels.

On its face, this appears to be based on "The Battle of Harlaw," presumably created in the period after the Hannoverian Succession (hence the reference to "Geordie's Men"). If this is based on an actual incident, it would appear that the young lady's crime was as much rejecting the Hannoverians as practicing her trade.

[14]

IV.

AWA wi' your slavery hiremen,
  Sic lads as ye ca' foremen,
They rise by the cock, and claw the kail-pat,
  And that's the knacks o' your hiremen,

Awa wi' your mealy miller,
  Awa wi' your mealy miller,
He's married a wife, and he's brocht her hame,
  And canna do nathing till her.

Awa wi' your limey mason,
  Awa wi' your limey mason,
He's married a wife, and he's brocht her hame,
  And he's ne'er put her gown frae lacing.

15

Awa wi' your blackie sutor,
  Awa wi' your blackie sutor,
He's married a wife, and he's brocht her hame,
  And he's flung the black about her.

But I'm for the ranting gardener,
  But I'm for the ranting gardener,
He pu'd me a flower on Michaelmas day,
  And it's sair'd me aye sin fernyear.

[16]

JOCK SHEEP

Is evidently the Scottish version of the English ballad of "The Baffled Knight, or Lady's Policy," published in Percy's Reliques, which is "given with some corrections from a manuscript copy, and collated with two printed ones in the Roman character in the Pepys collection." The English copy is decidedly inferior in point of humour and fancy.

[17]

V.

JOCK SHEEP


There was a knight and a lady bright
  Set a true tryst to the broom;
The tane to meet at twal o'clock,
  The tither true at noon.

Whan they cam to the gude greenwud,
  He lichtly laid her doun;--
"O spare me now, kid Sir," she says,
  "For spoiling o' my gown."

Do ye na see my fathers's castle?
  It's guarded weel about,
And ye sall hae your wills o' me,
  Therein, and no thairout."

18

But what she cam to her father's yett
  Sae lichtly she lap doun;
She's shut the door, behind her,
  Says, "Whistle o' your thumb!

And whistle o' your thumb, Jock Sheep,
  And whistle o' your thumb;
Sae stand you there, Jock Sheep," she says,
  "And whistle o' your thumb.

You're like a cock my father has,
  He wears the double kaim,
He claps his wins but craws nane,
  And I think ye are like him.

And whistle, &c.

You're like a flower in my father's garden,
  They ca't the marigold,
And he that wadna whan he could,
  He shanna when he would.

And whistle, &c.

You're like a steed my father has,
  He's tethered on yon loan;
He hands his head out o'er the mare,
  But darena venture on."

And whistle, &c.

19

He's turned him right and round about,
  And swore he'd got the scorn;
But he's to hae his wills o' her,
  On Monday or the morn.

He's tane a mantle him about,
  Wi' a cod* upon his wame;
And he's on to the gude greenwud,
Like a lady in travelling.

Then word's cam to her father's castle,
  And through the ha' it's gane,
That there was a lady in gude greenwud
And she was a-travelling.

She's tane her mantle her about,
  Her key's out oure her arm;
And she is gane to gude greenwud
  To see this lady wi' bairn.

But whan she cam to gude greenwud,
  She saw nae lady there,
But a knicht upon a milk-white steed
  Kaiming down his yellow hair.


Cod--pillow.

20

"Ye're welcome here, my dear," he says,
  "Ye're welcome here, my dow;
Sin ye'er sae trusty to your tryst,
  My dear ye sanna rue."

He's tane her by the milk-white hand,
  Sae lichtly laid her doun,
And whan he loot her up again,
  Says, "Whistle o' your thumb:

And whistle o' your thumb, fair may,
  And whistle o' your thumb;
Sae stand ye there, fair may," he says,
  "And whistle o' your thumb;

Ye said I was like your father's cock,
  He wore the double kame;
He clapt his wings but craw'd nane;
  And ye thoucht I was like him.

And whistle, &c.

Ye said I was like a flow'r in your father's garden,
  They ca't marigold:
And he that wadna whan he could,
  He shanna whan he wold.

And whistle, &c.

21

Ye said I was like your father's steed,
  Was tethered on yon loan:
He hung his head out oure the mare,
  But I think he's ventur'd on!"

Sae whistle, &c.

"O had I staid in my father's castle,
  and sew'd the silken sean!
But sin you've tane your wills o' me,
  You may conduct me hame."

He's set her on his milk-white steed,
  And took her to the ha';
Nae lord or lady look'd sae blythe,
  As them twa 'mang them a'.

As the original notes state, this is Child #112, "The Baffled Knight." The beginning, however, appears damaged, and may have been deliberately repaired with a stanza from "The Broomfield Hill" (Child #43).

The second half of the song also appears untraditional; the theme of the knight getting his own back from the lady is not found in true traditional versions of this song, and is probably a literary fix designed to relieve the disturbed dignity of all the men listening to the piece. The modifications were enough to make Child exclude this version from his collection -- and certainly the song is better without them.

[22]

EPITAPH ON JOCK SHEEP


Hic conditur Joannes Ovis,
Who, in love matters, was no novice;
Puellam validè compressit,
An ancient ditty doth express it.


The above Epitaph was written by a friend, who, on reading the ballad thought it worthy of such an accompaniment.

The Latin translates as,
Here lies John Sheep...
Who firmly embraced (or "strongly pressured") the girl
[23]

VI.


The lassie and the laddie
  Gaed out to wauk the mill,
And waly was the weel made bed
  The laddie lay intil.

The laddie gaed to bar the door,
  The lassie gaed wi' him,
And ae it cam into her mind,
  Wi' him she wad lie doun.

She's casten aff her peticoat,
  And sae has she her goun,
Atween the laddie and the wa',
  I wat she did lie doun.

24

Up gat the nakit fallow,
  And ran frae toun to toun,
And there he spied his master,
  Was walking up and doun.

"The cauld's tane me, master,
  The cauld has taken me,
The hire-quean has tane my bed,
  And I am forc'd to flee.

O I hae serv'd ye seven lang years,
  And never sought a fee,
And I will serve ye ither seven,
  And haud that quean frae me.

It's up the loan o' Charltoun,
  And doun the water o' Dee,
And oure the Cairn-o'-mount, master,
  And farder I could flee."

[25]

VII.

THE FRIAR


Can this be one of the squibs, so liberally fulminated at the Roman Catholic Priests and Friars, during the days of Sir David Lindsay; when they were satyrized as paying more devotion to "marit wyfis" and "lustie maydens," than to their book and psalter? See an English copy of this Ballad in Durfey's Pills to purge Melancholy, vol. I., p. 34, under the title of "The Fryer and the Maid."


O listen, and I will ye tell,
  Wi' a falaldirry, falaldirry,
How a Friar in love wi' a lassie fell,
  Wi' a fallee and leetee and a lee,
      tiddle, tiddle, tee.

26

The Friar cam to the maiden's bed-side,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
And asked her for her maidenhead,
  Wi' a falee, &c.

"O I wad grant you your desire,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
If it was na for fear o' hell's burning fire,"
  Wi' a falee, &c.

"O' hell's burning fire ye need have na doubt
  Wi' a fal. &c.
Altho' ye were in I could sing ye out,"
  Wi' a falee, &c.

"O an I grant to you this thing,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
Some money ye unto me maun bring,"
  Wi' a falee, &c.

He brocht her the money and did it down tell;
  Wi' a fal. &c.
She had a white claith spread oure the well,
  Wi' a falee, &c.

27

The lassie cries, "my master does come,"
  Wi' a fal. &c.
The Friar cries, "Whar sall I run?"
  Wi' a falee, &c.

"O ye'll dow ye in below this claith,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
That ye be seen I wad be laith,"
  Wi' a falee, &c.*

The Friar cries, "I'm in the well,"
  Wi' a fal. &c.
"I care na though ye war in hell,
  Wi' a falee, &c.*


* Var. -- Oh ye will go beyond yon screen,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
There by my master ye winna be seen
  Wi' a falee, &c.

Then in behind the screen she him sent,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
And he fell in the well by accident,
  Wi' a falee, &c.

28

Then the Friar cried, with piteous moan,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
"O! help! O! help! or else I am gone."
  Wi' a falee, &c.

"Ye said ye wad sing me out o' hell,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
Sing yoursel out o' the well."
  Wi' a falee, &c.

"If ye'll help me out I will be gone,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
Back to you I'll never come."
  Wi' a falee, &c.

She helpit him out, and bade him begone,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
But the Friar asked his money again,
  Wi' a falee, &c.

"For your money there's nae much matter,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
To mak you pay for fumbling* our water."
  Wi' a falee, &c.


* Qu. Drumbling-- i.e. troubling or mudying.

29

The Friar he gaed up the street,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
Hanging his lugs like a new washen sheet,
  Wi' a falee, &c.

Then a' wha heard it commend this fair maid,
  Wi' a fal. &c.
For the nimble trick to the Friar she play'd.
  Wi' a falee, &c.

This is "The Friar in the Well," Child #276. Child does not print this precise version, but his "B" text is largely from the Kinloch papers -- the same papers Kinloch used to compile this version.
[30]

VIII.


*    *    *

The beef, and the bacon,
  The capon and the hare,
And a' kin kind o' kitchen,
  Was weel provided there.

In cam Lizzie Ogilvie,
  Wi' her silk-and-worsted goun,--
"Sit about, brave maidens,
  And gie to me some room;

For there's ten ell in my petticoat,
  And nine into my goun:
Sae sit about, brave maidens,
  And gie to me some room.

*    *    *

Although this is only a fragment (and a rather pointless one at that), this is surely "Drunken Maidens" ("Four Drunken Maidens"), a tale found in broadsides of the eighteenth century telling of four girls who went on a spree (plus a feast) and bankrupted themselves. Kinloch seems to have known that this version was defective; hence the line of asterisks (used, e.g., at the end of his broken-off version of "Kempy Kay.")
[31]

IX.

EARL OF ERROL


Gilbert Hay, tenth Earl of Errol, the hero of this singular production, was married at Kinnard, 7th January, 1658, to Lady Catherine Carnegy, youngest daughter of James, second Earl of Southesk. The tradition of the country is that the lady actually sued her husband for a divorce on the ground of impotency, and that the incidents really took place as detailed in the ballad, but I have been unable to discover the truth of this tradition. The following excerpt, however, from a note on a South country version of this ballad, preserved in Mr. Sharpe's "Ballad Book," bears strong evidence of the truth of the tradition. It is contained in a letter from Keith of Bentholm to Captain Brown at Paris, which, after mentioning the other news of the day, concludes:-- "Lastly, the sadd (and not lyke heard of in this land amongst eminent persons,) story of the Eril of Errol's impotencie, which is lyke, being cum to public hearing, to draw deeper betuix him and Southesk, than is alledgit it hath done 'twixt him and Southesk's daughter. These are the meane emergents we are taken up with, whilst beyond sea empyres are overturning." -- Scoone, 22d Feb. 1659

[32]

EARL OF ERROL


O Errol is a bonnie place,*
  Into the simmer time;
The apples they grow red and white,
  And the pears they grow green.

And the ranting o't, and the danting o't,
  According as ye ken;
And the thing we ca' the danting o't,
  Is -- Errol's na a man!


* Errol is situated in the Carse of Gowrie; a district famed for the excellence of its fruit.

33

O Errol's place is a bonnie place,
  It stands upo' yon plain;
But what's the use o' Errol's place?
  He's na like ither men.

"As I cam in by yon canal,
  And by yon bowling green,
I micht hae pleas'd the best Carnegie,
  That ever bore the name.

Tho' your name be Dame Cathrine Carnegie,
  And mine Sir Gilbert Hay,
I'll gar your father sell Kinnaird,
  Your tocher gude to pay."

"If ye gar my father sell Kinnaird,
  'Twill be a crying sin,
To tocher onie weary dwarf,
  That canna tocher win.

The lady is on to Edinbrugh,
  A' for to try the law;
And Errol he has follow'd her;
  His ainsell for to shaw.

34

O up bespak her sister,
  Whose name was Lady Ann*--
"Had I been lady o' Errol,
  Or come o' sic a clan,
I wad na in this public way
  Hae sham'd my ain gudeman."

Then up bespak a wily lord,
  He spak it wi' a sneet--
"If it be the length o' five barley-corns,
  A man he will prove here."

But up bespak dame Cathrine Carnegie
  She was na far awa--
"Indeed, my lord, it may be sae,
  If it had awnst and a'."

Errol has got it in his will,
  To choice a maid himsel;
And he has chosen a weel-faur'd may,
  Come in, her milk to sell.


* This lady is sometimes called Jane; but both names are erroneous. The Earl of Southesk had only two daughters; the heroine of this ballad, and Elizabeth, who married first James, second Earl of Annandale, and secondly David, Viscount Stormont.

t Awns -- beards of barley.

35

"Look up, look up, my well faur'd may,
  Look up, and think na shame;
I'll gie to thee five hundred merk,
  To bear to me a son."

He's tane the lassie by the han',
  And led her up the green;
And twenty times he kissed her
  Afore his lady's een.

Whan they war laid in the proof-bed,
  And a' the lords looking on,
Then a' the fifteen vow'd and swore,
  That Errol was a man.

But they hae keepit this lassie
  Three quarters o' a year;
And at the end o' nine lang months,
  A son to him she bare.

And there was three thairbut, thairbut,
  And there was three thairben;
And three looking oure the window hie--
  Crying, "Errol's prov'd a man!"

And whan the word gaed through the town
  The sentry gied a cry--

36

"O fair befa' you! Errol, now,
  For ye hae won the day."

"O I'll tak aff my robes o' silk,
  And fling them oure the wa';
And I'll gae maiden hame again--
  Awa, Errol, awa!"

"Take hame your dochter, Sir Carnegie,
  And put her til the glen,
For Errol canna please her,
  Nor nane o' Errol's men."

And ilka day her plate was laid,
  Bot an a siller spune;
And three times croed oure Errol's yett,--
  "Lady Errol come and dine."*

And the rantin o't, and the dantin o't,
  According as ye ken;
And the thing we ca' the dantin o't,
  Lady Errol lies her leen


Var.-- Seven years the trencher sat,
  And seven years the spune,
Seven years the servant cried--
  "Lady Errol, come and dine."

Child #231. This is one of the three texts Child collated to produce his "D" text. There is another text (Child's F) in the Kinloch papers. Child's background material appears to have been derived largely from Kinloch's introduction and footnotes.
[37]

X.

THE ASTROLOGER


There was a handsome 'Strologer
  In London town did dwell,
For telling maids their fortune,
  There was few could him excell.
      With my fal, lal, &c.

A pretty maid, as I heard said,
  Unto his lodging went,
All to get her fortune read,
  And that was her intent.
      With my fal, lal, &c.

In asking for this cunning man,
  Was answered by his maid--
"He's up into his chamber"--
  "Go, call him down," she said.
      With my fal, lal, &c.

38

"If you would read my fortune right,
  I willing would you pay"--
"There's no doubt but I can, fair maid,
  Will ye walk up stairs with me?"
      With my fal, lal, &c.

"I will not walk up stairs with you,
  Nor any man indeed;"--
And she spoke with as much modesty,
  As if she'd been a maid.
      With my fal, lal, &c.

"You may be as nimble as you're able,
  For I have not time to stay;
You may be as nimble as you're able,
  For I'm but a servant may."
      With my fal, lal, &c.

"I know your but a servant may,
  I know you're not a maid!
And it's time ye were wed, fair may,
  For ye are the ranting blade.
      With my fal, lal, &c.

Deny it not, fair may," he says,
  "For I know it to be so,

39

That you lay with your master
  Not many nights ago.
      With my fal, lal, &c.

Deny it not, fair maid, he said,
  For it makes your case the worse,
For you got a crown from him last night,
  And you have it in your purse.
      With my fal, lal, &c.

[40]

XI.


KEMPY* KAY

This ludicrous production seems to be a parody on a passage in the ancient metrical romance of "The marriage of Sir Gawaine;" of which a fragment is published in Percy's Reliques. Sir Kaye, for his unknighly disrepect of the "lothely lady," whom he so uncourteously anathematised, is here transformed into her ardent lover; but unfortunately the termination of their loves remains unknown, as the ballad breaks off abruptly at the most interesting point. Sir Kaye, however, appears not to have been terrified as the "snout" of the lady, or "in doubt" of his kiss; for he seems, if we may judge from the "extreme unction" he underwent, to have been literally glued to the lips of the loathesome lady.

Mr. Sharpe, whose opinion on such matters is deserving of the highest regard, considers this ballad to be of Danish extraction, and refers to the Illustrations of Northern Antiquities, p. 311, for a humorous song of the same nature, called Sir Guncelin, translated from the Kempe Viser, by Mr. Jamieson, in which all the characters are kemps or giants.


* Diminutive of Kemp, a champion or warrior.

[41]

KEMPY KAY


KEMPY KAYE is a wooing gane,
  Far far ayont the sea,
And there he met wi' auld Goling,
  His gudefather to be, be,
  His gudefather to be.

"Where are ye gaun, O Kempy Kaye,
  Whar are ye gaun sae sune?"
"O I am gaun to court a wife,
  And think ye na that's weel dune, dune,
  And think ye na that's weel dune?"

"An ye be gaun to court a wife,
  As ye do tell to me,
"'Tis ye sall hae my Fusome Fug,
  Your ae wife for to be, be,
  Your ae wife for to be."

42

"Rise up, rise up, my Fusome Fug,
  And mak your foul face clean,
For the brawest wooer that ere ye saw
  Is come develling*, doun the green, green,
  Is come develling doun the green."

Up then raise the Fusome Fug,
  To mak her foul face clean;
And aye she curs'd her mither
  She had na water in, in,
  She had na water in.

She rampitt out, and she rampit in,
  She rampit but and ben;
The tittles and tattles+ that hang frae her tail
  Wad muck an acre o' land, land,
  Wad muck an acre o' land.

She had a neis upon her face,
  Was like an auld pat-fit;
  Atween her neis bot and her mou,
Was inch thick deep o' dirt, dirt,
Was inch thick deep o' dirt.


* Develling-- sauntering.
t Rampit-- pranced about in bad humour.
+ Tittles and tattles-- clots of dirt, such as hang on a cow's tail.

Child #33. Child's "B" text is a comparison of Kinloch's manuscript with this version.
43

She had twa een intil her head,
  War like twa rotten plooms*,
The heavy brown hung doun her face,
  And O! I vow, she glooms, glooms,
  And O! I vow, she glooms.

Ilka hair that was on her head
  Was like a heather cow;t
And ilka louse that lookit out,
  Was like a lintseed bow, bow,+
  Was like a lintseed bow.

When Kempy Kaye cam to the house,
  He lookit thro' a hole,
And there he saw the dirty drab,
  Just whisking oure the coal, coal,
  Just whisking oure the coal.

He gied to her a braw silk napkin,
  Was made o' an auld horse brat*:
"I ne'er wore a silk napkin a' my life,
  But weel I wat I'se wear that, that,
  But weel I wat I'se wear that."


* Plooms-- plumbs.       t Cow-- a twig.
+ Bow-- the pericarpium of lint.

Although the work "brat" is marked for glossing in the text above, there is no gloss in the margin of the printed text.
44

He gied to her a braw gowd ring,
  Was made frae an auld brass pan:--
"I ne'er wore a gowd ring in a' my life,
  But now I wat I'se wear ane, ane,
  But now I wat I'se wear ane."

When thir twa lovers had met thegither,
  O kissing to tak their fill;
The slaver that hang atween their twa gabs
  Wad he tether'd a ten year auld bill, bill,*
  Wad he tether'd a ten year auld bill.

*    *    *


* Bill-- the west country pron. of bull.

[45]

XII.


HEY THE MANTLE

Among the numerous ancient ditties enumerated in the "Complaynt of Scotland" there occurs, Fayr luf, lent thow me thy mantil, joy! "The original song," says Dr. Leyden, "is probably lost; but a ludicrous parody, in which the chorus is preserved, is well known in the south of Scotland. It begins,

Our Guidman's away to the Mers,
  Wi' the mantle, jo! wi' the mandle, jo!
Wi' his breiks on his heid, and his bonnet on his ---,
  Wi' the merry, merry mantle o' the green, jo!"

The Editor has never seen the above version; but the following one is still preserved in the north country. Our ancestors appear to have been very fond of the ludicrous; many specimens of their talents for that species of composition will be found in the present collection.

[46]

XII.


HEY THE MANTLE

Early in the morning whan the cat crew day,
  Hey the mantle! how the mantle!
Our gudeman saddl'd the bake-bread, and fast ran away
  And hey for a mantle o' the gude green hay.

Our gudeman's gane awa to the Mers,
  Hey the mantle! how the mantle!
We' his breeks on's head, and his binnet on's arse,
  And hey for a mantle o' the gude green hay.

And as he gaid through thick wud, thin wud's brither,
  Hey the mantle! how the mantle!
Ilka tree stood a mile frae the ither,
  And hey for a mantle o' the gude green hay.

47

As he cam bye the mill door, he heard psalms singing,
  Hey the mantle! how the mantle!
As he cam bye the kirk door, he heard the meal grinding,
  And hey for a mantle o' the gude green hay.

There war four-and-twenty tailors riding on a snail,
  Hey the mantle! how the mantle!
"Ho!" quo' the foremost, "I'll be heads oure her tail,"
  And hey for a mantle o' the gude green hay.

There war four-and-twenty tailors riding on a paddock,
  Hey the mantle! how the mantle!
"Ho! says the foremost, "we'll haud her at the gallop,"
  And hey for a mantle o' the gude green hay.

There war four-and-twenty tailors playing at the ba',
  Hey the mantle! how the mantle!
Up started headless and took it frae them a',
  And hey for a mantle o' the gude green hay.

[48]

XIII.


Four-and-twenty cripple tailors, riding on a snail;
  This lies leal on my thrawn sang,
"O," says the foremost, "We'll a' be oure the tail,
  And we'll a' be thrawn or we gang O."

Four-and-twenty blind men playin' at the ba;
  This, &c.
Up cam the foremost and took it frae them a'
  And, &c.

Four-and-twenty young maids swimming in a pool;
  This, &c.
"O," says the youngest, "We'll a' be drown'd or Yule."
  And, &c.

49

Four-and-twenty auld wives skinning at a whale,
  This, &c.
Up cam the foremost, and took it by the tail,
  And, &c.

Four-and-twenty dirten brats pelting at a frog;
  This, &c.
Up cam the foremost, says, "wha's the greatest rogue,
  And, &c.

Four-and-twenty windmills running in a burn;
  This, &c.
By cam the fairies and garr'd them a' turn,
  And, &c.

Four-and-twenty young men wi' faces like the moon,
  This, &c.
Let ony ane do better, for noo my sang is dune,
  And, &c.

[50]

XIV.


THE MAN IN THE MOON

The following ditty, particularizing various optical illusions, and strange absurdities, to which a man in his cups is subject, through the medium of seeing double, reminds us of the eccentricities of the "drunken menyie of old Sir Thom o' Lyne:"

Jock looked at the sun, and cried, "Fire, fire, fire;"
Tom stabled his keffel in Birkendale mire;
Jem started a calf, and halloo'd for a stag;
Will mounted a gate-post instead of his nag;
  For all our men were very, very merry,
    And all our men were drinking.
There were two men of mine,
Three men of thine,
And three that belonged to old Sir Thom o' Lyne;
As they went to the ferry, they were very, very merry,
  For all our men were drinking.

[51]

THE MAN IN THE MOON

I SAW the man in the moon,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I saw the man in the moon,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw the man in the moon,
Driving tackets in his shoon,
And we're a' blind-drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

I saw a sparrow draw a harrow,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I swaw a sparrow draw a harrow,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw a sparrow draw a harrow,
Up the Bow and down the narrow,
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

52

I saw a pyet haud the pleuch,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I saw a pyet haud the pleuch,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw a pyet haud the pleuch,
And he whissel'd weel eneuch,
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

I saw a wran kill a man,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I saw a wran kill a man,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw a wran kill a man,
Wi' a braidsword in his han';
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

I saw a sheep shearing corn,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I saw a sheep shearing corn,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw a sheep shearing corn,
Wi' the heuk about his horn
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

I saw a puggie wearing boots,
  What's fou, what's fou?

53

I saw a puggie wearing boots,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw a puggie wearing boots,
And he had but shachled cutes;
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

I saw a ram wade a dam,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I saw a ram wade a dam,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw a ram wade a dam,
Wi' a mill-stane in his han';
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

I saw a louse chace a mouse,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I saw a louse chace a mouse,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw a louse chace a mouse,
Out the door, and round the house;
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

I saw a sow sewing silk,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I saw a sow sewing silk,
  What's fou, now, my jo?

55

I saw a sow sewing silk,
And the cat was kirning milk;
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

I saw a dog shoe a horse,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I saw a dog shoe a horse,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw a dog shoe a horse,
Wi' the hammer in his a--s;
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

I saw an eel chase the deil,
  What's fou, what's fou?
I saw an eel chase the deil,
  What's fou, now, my jo?
I saw an eel chase the deil,
Round about the spinning wheel,
And we're a' blind drunk, bousing jolly fou, my jo.

This is the song variously known as "Martin Said to His Man," "Johnny Fool," "Hurrah, Lie!" It is attested at least since 1668 and Dryden's play "Sir Martin Mar-all, or the Feigned Innocence." Verbal variation is of course extreme, but there is no real doubt that it is the same song.
55

XV.


THE SHOEMAKER

"SHOEMAKER, shoemaker, are ye within?
  A fal a falladdie fallee;
Has you got shoes that will fit me so trim,
  For a kiss in the morning early?"

"Oh fair may come in and see,
  A fal &c.
I've got but ae pair, and I'll gie them to thee,
  For a kiss in the morning early."

He's tane her in behind the bench,
  A fal &c.
And there he has fitted his own pretty wench
  With a kiss in the morning early.

56

Whan twenty weeks war come and gane,
  A fal &c.
The maid cam back to her shoemaker then,
  For a kiss in the morning early.

"O," says she, "I can't spin at a wheel,"
  A fal &c.
"If ye can't spin at a wheel, ye may spin at a rock,
For I go not to slight my ain pretty work,
  That was done in the morning early."

Whan twenty weeks war come and gone,
  A fal &c.
This maid she brought forth a braw young man,
  For her kiss in the morning early.

"O says her father, we'll cast it out
  A fal &c.
It is but the shoemaker's dirty clout,
  It was got in a morning early."

O says her mother, we'll keep it in.
  A fal &c.
It was born a prince, and it may be a king.*
  It was got in a morning early."


* King Crispin I presume.

57

Whan other maid gang to the ball,
  A fal &c.
She must sit and dandle her shoemaker's awl,
  For her kiss in the morning early.

Whan other maids gang to their tea,
  A fal &c.
She must sit at hame and sing balillalee,
  For her kiss in the morning early.

[58]

XVI.


THE MAIDEN'S DREAM

One nicht as I lay on my bed
  With all my joys in extasie,
And naething but my maidenhead
  Was for to bear me companie.

One cam to me, both tall and young,
  And unto me great love did show;
My yielding heart consented straight,
  Then love in every vein did flow.

He talk'd to me of married life,
  And then bade me appoint the day;
My yielding heart consented straight,
  I had na power to say him nay.

59

And whan the happy morning cam,
  I thocht how bless'd a maid was I,
To see me go along the streets,
  Wi' my bride-maidens in clean array.

And whan to church I brought was then,
  In cam to me my sweet bridegroom--
But friends believe me, sair it griev'd me,
  Whan I found it was but a dream.

And whan to dinner I was set doun,
  At the table-head wi' mickle pride,
To see the smiling bowl gae round--
  "Here's a health to you, my bonny bride."

And after dinner I was conveyed
  Into a large and spacious hall;
For there the sweetest music play'd,
  Till we for nicht-bouer did call.

And whan to bed I was brought then,
  In cam to me my sweet bridegroom;
But friends believe me, sair it griev'd me,
  Whan I found it was but a dream!

60

I wish my dream had lasted long,
  Then I had more delighted been;
But whan I awoke, sair to my hurt,
  Alas! I found it was but a dream!

[61]

XVII.


THE COVERING BLUE

"My father he locks the doors at nicht,
  My mither the keys carries ben, ben;
There's naebody dare gae out, she says,
  And as few dare come in, in
  And as few dare come in."

"I will mak a lang ladder,
  Wi' fifty steps and three, three,
I will mak a lang ladder,
  And lichtly come doun to thee, thee,
  And lichtly come doun to thee."

He has made a lang ladder,
  Wi' fifty steps and three, three,
And he has made a lang ladder,
  And lichtly come doun the lum, lum,
  And lichtly come doun the lum.

62

They had na kiss'd, nor lang clappit,
  (As lovers do whan they meet, meet)
Till the auld wife says to the auld man,--
  "I hear some body speak, speak,
  I hear some body speak.

I dreamed a dream sin late yestreen,
  And I'm fear'd my dreams be true, true;
I dream'd that the rattens cam thro' the wa'
  And cuttit the covering blue, blue,
  And cuttit the covering blue.

Ye'll rise, ye'll rise, my auld gudeman,
  And see gin this be true, true,"--
"If ye're wanting rising, rise yourself,
  For I wish the auld chiel had you, you,
  For I wish the auld chiel had you."

"I dream'd a dream sin late yestreen,
  And I'm fear'd my dream be true, true;
I dream'd that the clerk, and our ae dother,
  War rowed in the covering blue, blue,
  War rowed in the covering blue.

Ye'll rise, ye'll rise, my auld gudeman,
  And see gin this be true, true,"--

63

"If ye're wanting rising, rise yourself,
  For I wish the auld chiel had you, you,
  For I wish the auld chiel had you."

But up she raise, and but she gaies,
  And she fell into a gin, gin;
He fied the tow a clever tit,
  That brocht her out at the lum, lum,
  That brocht her out at the lum.

"Ye'll rise, ye'll rise, my auld gudeman,
  Ye'll rise and come to me now, now;
For him that ye've gien me sae lang til,
  I fear he has gotten me now, now,
  I fear he has gotten me now."

"The grip that he's gotten, I wish he may haud,
  And never lat it gae, gae;
For atween you and your ae dother,
  I rest neither nicht nor day, day,
  I rest neither nicht nor day.

A version of Child #281, "The Keach i the Creel." Kinloch had the song from Alexander Kinnear of Stonehaven; Child's "D" text is from the Kinloch manuscript, closely approximating this text (save that Child does not show the repetitions that Kinloch makes explicit).
[64]

XVIII.

THE MUIR HEN


The bonnie muir hen gaed down the den,
  To gather in her cattle;
I bent my bow to fire at her,
  But I could never ettle.

(Ch.) Sing archie owdum diddledum dow,
  Sing archie owdum dowdum,
  Sing archie owdum diddledum dow dum,
  Diddle dum, diddle dum dow dum.

And I the nearer that I cam,
  It's ae she sang the louder--
"I loe the young men wondrous weel,
  But they do want the pouder."

65

"O haud your tongue, fair maid, he says,
  And dinna gie me the scorn;
Ye dinna ken whare we may meet
  Wi' pouder in my horn."

The next time that he did her meet,
  Was doun amang the corn;--
"How do you do, fair maid, he says,
  There's pouder in my horn."

He's tane her by the milk-white hand,
  And on the leys he's laid her,
And there he's hane his wills o' her,
  Before he let her gather.

And when he let her up again,
  And she saw the leys about her;--
"I'll rue the day that ever I said,
  The young men wanted pouder."

Whan twenty weeks war come and gane,
  This maid began to weary;
And ae she cried, "My back, my back,
  I' the drear time o' the yearie.

66

And whan he cam into the ha',
  And saw the wives about her--
"Ye're na sae ill's I wish'd ye yet,
  Whan ye said I wanted pouder.

But I thought my gun would me misgie,
  Whan I had her on my shouther,
Tho' my flint was soft and fired not,
  'Twas an for want o' pouder."

[67]

XIX.


Widows are sour, and widows are dour,
  And widows are aye faint harted;
But lasses are kind, wi' courtship in mind,
  Wi' money into their pocket.

Money into their pocket, he says,
  And gowd into their coffer;
But Jeanie Beddie's better than that,
  She has three lads in her offer.

Jamie Jack he loves her weel,
  But Jack Mouat loes her better,
But Willie Anderson will gae mad,
  If that he dinna get her.

68

Jeanie lay sick on the bleaching green,
  And Willie' leg lay oure her;
He could na get a kiss o' his love,
  For Burley glowring oure her.

O gin Burley was lying sick,
  And never to get better,
Syne I wad get a kiss o' my love,
  And nane ken o' the matter.

But gin ye had been wi' me yestreen,
  Ye wad hae riven for laughter,
To see the loun get oure the crowne,
  For kissing o' Jeanie Clerk's dochter.

[69]

XX.

BONNIE BUCHAIRN.


  Quhilk o' ye lasses will go to Buchairn?
  Quhilk o' ye lasses will go to Buchairn?
  Quhilk o' ye lasses will go to Buchairn?
  And be the gudewife o' bonnie Buchairn?

I'LL no hae the lass wi' the gowden locks,
Nor will I the lass with the bonnie breast-knots,
But I'll hae the lass wi' the shaif o' bank notes,
To plenish the toun o' bonnie Buchairn,
    Quhilk o' ye, &c.

I'll get a thigging frae auld John Watt,
And I'll get ane frae the Lady o' Glack,

70

And I'll get anith frae honest John Gray,
For kiiping his sheep sae lang on the brae.
    Sae quhilk, &c.

Lassie, I am gaun to Lawren'-fair,*
"Laddie, what are ye gaun to do there?"
To buy some ousen, some graith, and some bows,
To plenish the toun o' Bucharin's knows.

  Then, some o' ye, lasses, maun go to Buchairn,
  Some o' ye, lasses, maun go to Buchairn,
  Now, some o' ye, lasses, maun go to Buchairn,
  And be the gudewife o' bonnie Buchairn.


* Lawren'-fair, a market held at Lawrence-kirk, in Mearnshire.

[71]

XXI.


It fell on a morning, a morning in May,
My father's cows they all went astray,
I loutit me doun, and the heather was gay,
  And a burr stack to my apron.

O! ance my apron it was side,
But now my knees it will scarcely hide,
And O the grief that I do bide,
  Whan I look to my apron.

O! ance my apron it was new,
But now it's gotten anither hue,
But now it's gotten another hue,
  There's a braw lad below my apron.

72

I saw my father on the stair,
Kaiming doun his yellow hair,
Says,--"What is that ye've gotten there,
  Saw weel row'd aneath your apron?"

It's no a vagabond, nor yet a loon--
He's the rarest stay-maker in a' the toun,
And he's made a stomacher to bear up my goun,
  And I row'd it aneath my apron.

I saw my mother on the stair,
Kaiming doun her yellow hair,
Says,--"What's that ye've gotten there,
  Saw weel row'd aneath your apron?"

It is my mantle and my shirt,
I had nae will to daidle it,
I had nae will to daidle it,
  And I row'd it aneath my apron.

As I was waling up the street,
Wi' silver slippers on my feet,
O! aye my friends I'd ill will to meet,
  And my braw lad row'd in my apron.

This has some points of contact with "The Butcher Boy" [Laws P24] and its relatives such as "Must I Go Bound" and "The Wild Goose Grasses," but it is clearly not the same song. If the theories of certain folklorists are correct, and "The Butcher Boy" a composite, this might be related to one of the elements.
[73]

XXII.


FIRST there cam whipmen, and that not a few,
And there cam bonnetmen following the pleugh;
But he was a brisk farmer, he was brisk and airy,
Monie times courted, but never to marry:
  Court her, court her, court her, and leave her,
  O sic a pity that they should grieve her.

The next was a merchantman out o' the town,
She washed his stockings and dichted his shoon;
And aye for the courting the lassie was keen,
The lassie was keen, and the laddie was airy,
Monie times courted, but never to marry:
  Court her, court her, court her, and leave her,
  O sic a pity that they should grieve her.

*    *    *    *

[74]

XXIII.


LAIRD O' LEYS

This ballad related to a faux pas of one of the Burnets of Leys, in Mearns-shire; but which of them I know not.

The Laird o' Leys is to London gane,
  He was baith full and gawdie;
For he shod his steed wi' siller guid,
  And he's play'd the ranting laddie.

He hadna been in fair London
  A twalmonth and a quarter,
Till he met wi' a weel-faur'd may,
  Wha wish'd to ken how they ca'd him.

"They ca' me this, and they ca' me that,
  And they're easy how they've ca'd me;
But whan I'm at hame on bonnie Deeside,
  They ca' me the ranting laddie.

75

"Awa' wi' your jesting, Sir," she said,
  "I trow you're a ranting laddie,
But something swells atween my sides,
  And I maun ken how they ca' thee."

"They ca' me this, and they ca' me that,
  And their easy how they ca' me:
The Baron o' Leys my title is,
  And Sandy Burnet they ca' me."

"Tell down, tell down, ten thousand crowns,
  Or ye maun marry me the morn,
Or headit and hangit ye sall be,
  For ye sanna gie me the scorn."

"My head's the thing I canna weel want;
  My lady she loves me dearlie;
Nor yet hae I means ye to maintain--
  Alas! for the lying sae near thee."

But word's gane down to the Lady o' Leys
  That the Baron had got a babie;
"The waurst o' news," my lady she said,
  I wish had hame my laddie.

76

But I'll sell off my jointure-house,
  Tho' na mair I sud be a ladie;
I'll sell a', to my silken goun,
  And bring hame my ranting laddie."

So she is on to London gane,
  And she paid the money on the morn;
She paid it doun, and brought him hame,
  And gien them a' the scorn.

Child #241. Kinloch's verions is Child's "B" text.
[77]

XXIV.


TAM BARROW

'Twas in the month of Februar,
  Whan Tam was first a widower;
Thir words I will rehearse to you
  About auld Tam Barrow.

His mukle-coat, his hair wig,
  O vow! he lookit dreary,
He wad hae put ye in a fricht,
  Gin ance he had cam near ye.

He was na widower lang ago,
  Till he grew tap-and-teerie;
And he has thro' the kintry gane,
  To seek anither dearie.

78

He wash'd his face, he kaim'd his hair,
  He was a lusty fallow,
And a' the lasses blinkit blythe,
  At auld Tam Barrow.

A' the lasses blinkit blythe,
  But few o' them had tocher,
Na sooner did they gie consent,
  Of them he spier'd their coffer.

But he's to a rich widow gane,
  That had baith white and yellow,--
Will ye consent to marry me?
  Says auld Tam Barrow

Your children I will put to school,
  Yoursel I will haud easy,
Ye'll sit richt warm at my fireside,
  Whan you grow auld and crazy.

But he was na married lang ago,
  Till he began to weary;--
Pack aff your children and begone,
  Says auld Tam Barrow.

[79]

XXV.


Johnie cam to our toun,
To out toun, to our toun,
Johnie cam to our toun,
The body wi' thet ye;
And O as he kittl'd me,
Kittl'd me, kittl'd me,
O as he kittl'd me--
But I forgot to cry.

He gaed thro' the fields wi' me,
The fields wi' me, the fields wi' me,
He gaed thro' the fields wi' me,
And doun amang the rye;
Then O as he kittl'd me,
Kittl'd me, kittl'd me,
Then O as he kittl'd me--
But I forgot to cry.

[80]

XXVI.


THE RAM OF DIRAM

As I cam in by Diram,
  Upon a sunshine day,
I there did meet a ram, Sir,
  He was baith gallant and gay.

    And a hech, hey, a-Diram,
      A-Diram, A-Dandalee;
    He was the gallantest ram, Sir,
      That ever mine eyes did see.

He had four feet to stand upon
  As ye sall understand
And ilka fit that ram had
  Wad hae cover'd an acre o' land.

81

The woo that grew on the ram's back,
  Was fifty packs o' claith;
And for to mak a lee, Sir,
  I wad be very laith.

The horns that war on the ram's head,
  Were fifty packs o' speens;
And for to mak a lee, Sir,
  I never did it eence.

This ram was fat behind, Sir,
  And he was fat before;
This ram was ten yards lang, Sir,
  Indeed he was no more.

The tail that hang at the ram,
  Was fifty fadom and an ell,
And it was sauld at Diram,
  To ring the market-bell.

    And a hech, hey, a-Diram,
      A-Diram, a-dandalee;
    He was the gallantest ram, Sir,
      That ever mine eyes did see.

Obviously a version of the well-known "Derby Ram" -- this being one of the oldest known versions, and perhaps the earliest recorded in Scotland.
[82]

XXVII.


THE KNAVE

I GAED to the market,
  As an honest woman shou'd,
The knave followed me,
  As ye ken a knave wou'd.

    And a knave has his knave tricks,
      Aye where'er he be,
    And I'll tell ye bye and bye,
      How the knave guided me.

I boucht a pint ale,
  As an honest woman shou'd
The knave drank it a',
  As ye ken a knave wou'd.

I cam my way hame,
  As an honest woman shou'd,
The knave follow'd me,
  As ye ken a knave wou'd.

83

I gied him cheese and bread,
  As an honest woman shou'd,
The knave ate it a',
  As ye ken a knave wou'd.

I gaed to my bed,
  As an honest woman shou'd,
The knave follow'd me,
  As ye ken a knave wou'd.

I happen'd to be wi' bairn,
  As an honest woman shou'd,
The knave ran awa,
  As ye ken a knave wou'd.

I paid the nourice fee,
  As an honest woman wou'd,
The knave got the widdie,
  As ye ken a knave shou'd.

    And a knave has his knave tricks,
      Aye where'er he be,
    And I've tamed you now
      How the knave guided me.

[84]

XXVIII.


There was a little wee bridelie,
  In Pitcarles toun,
  In Pitcarles toun;
There was few fowk bidden to it,
  And as few fowk did come,
  And as few fowk did come.

There was nae mair meat at it,
  Than a sheep's head but the tongue,
  Than a sheep's head but the tongue;
And aye the bride she cried--
  I pray ye lads eat some,
  I pray ye lads leave some.

There was nae drink but a soup,
  I' the boddom o' a tun,
  I' the boddom o' a tun;
And are the bride she cried,
  I pray ye lads drink some,
  I pray ye lads leave some.

85

There was nae music but a pipe,
  And the pipe wanted the drone,
  And the pipe wanted the drone;
And aye the bride she cried--
  I pray ye lads dance some,
  I pray ye lads dance some.

The bridegroom gaed thro' the reel,
  And his breeks cam trodling doun,
  And his breeks cam trodling doun;
And aye the bried she cried--
  Tie up your leathern whang,*
  Tie up your leathern whang.

The bride gaed till her bed,
  The bridegroom wadna come,
  The bridegroom wadna come;
And aye the bride she cried--
  I kent this day wad come,
  I kent this day wad come.


* Before the invention of braces, the nether garments were usually supported by a leathern belt round the waist.

[86]

XXIX.


THE MAUTMAN

This coarse production is a different, if not an older version of The Mautman, published in Herd's Collection.

The Mautman comes on Munanday,
  And vow but he craves sair;--
Now gie me my sack and my siller,
  Or maut ye're ne'er get mair.

    Bring a' your maut to me,
      Bring a' your maut to me;
    My draff ye'll get for ae pund ane,
      Tho' a' my jockies* should dee.


* Jockies--Pigs?

Pigs? I rather expect it means bairns....
87

She's tane the chappin stoup,
  And p----d it to the ee--
"O come, gudeman, and prie
  Sic maut as ye've gien me."--

"The maut is very gude maut,
  An it hadna been brewn sae het,"--
"O how can it otherwise be,
  Whan it's new come out o' the fat.*

Now, hark ye, hark ye, kimmer,
  And I will tell ye how
There cam to our house yestreen,
  A curst unruly crew:

A curst unruly crew,
  And they did breed a quarrel,
They gaed doun to the cellar below,
  And they pierc'd my dochter's barrel:

They pierced my dochter's barrel,
  And syne ran awa wi' the cock,
And aye, and aye sin syne,
  My lassie rins lowsst i' the dock.


*Fat--vat        t Lowss--loose.

88

Some say kissing's a sin,
  But I think its nane ava,
For kissing was won'd* in the warld,
  Whan there was but only twa.

If it wasna lawfu',
  Lawyers wadna allow it;
If it was na holy,
  Ministers wadna do it.

If it wasna modest,
  Maidens wadna tak it;
And if it was na plenty,
  Puir fowk wad na get it.

    Bring a' your maut to me,
      Bring a' your maut to me;
    My draff ye'll get for ae pund ane,
      Tho' a' my jockies should dee.


Won'd--known, an oblique sense of dwelt.

Index

of
Author's Titles, Common Titles, and First Lines


As I cam in by Diram (XXVI/p. 80)
As I cam in by Tanzie's wood (III/p. 12)
The Astrologer (X/p. 37)
Awa wi' your slavery hiremen (IV/p. 14)
[The Baffled Knight/Child #112] (V/p. 16)
The Baron o' Leys [Child #241] (XXIII/p. 74)
The beef, and the bacon (VIII/p. 30)
Bonnie Buchairn (XX/p. 69)
The bonnie muir hen gaed down the den (XVIII/p. 64)
The Covering Blue (XVII/p. 61)
[The Derby Ram] (XXVI/p. 80)
Drunken Maidens (VIII/p. 30)
Earl of Errol [Child #231] (IX/p. 31)
Early in the morning whan the cat crew day (XII/p. 45)
First there cam whipmen, and that not a few (XXII/p. 73)
Four Drunken Maidens (VIII/p. 30)
Four-and-twenty cripple tailors, riding on a snail (XIII/p. 48)
The Friar (VII/ p. 25)
[The Friar in the Well/Child #276] (VII/p. 25)
Hey the Mantle (XII/p. 45)
[Hurrah, Lie!] (XIV/p. 50)
The Keach i the Creel [Child #281] (XVII/p. 61)
Kempy Kay [Child #33] (XI/p. 40)
I bought a wife in Edinburgh (Intro/frag. on p. vii)
I gaed to the market (XXVII/p. 82)
I saw the man in the moon (XIV/p. 50)
I'll no hae the lass wi' the gowden locks (XX/p. 69)
It fell on a morning, a morning in May (XXI/p. 71)
Jock Sheep (V/ p. 16)
Johnie cam to our toun (XXV/p. 79)
[Johnny Fool] (XIV/p. 50)
Kempy Kay [Child #33] (XI/p. 40)
Kempy Kay is a wooing gane (XI/p. 40)
The Knave (XXVII/p. 82)
Laird o' Leys (XXIII/p. 74)
The Laird o' Leys is to London gane (XXIII/p. 74)
The lassie and the laddie (VI/p. 23)
The Magdalene's Lament (III/p. 12)
The Maiden's Dream (XVI/p. 58)
The Man in the Moon (XIV/p. 50)
[Martin Said to His Man] (XIV/p. 50)
The Mautman (XXIX/p. 86)
The Mautman comes on Munanday (XXIX/p. 86)
The Muir Hen (XVIII/p. 64)
Mussel Mou'd Charlie (Intro/p. ix)
My father he locks the doors at nicht (XVII/p. 61)
O dolefu' rings the bell o' Raine (Intro/p. ix)
O Errol is a bonnie place (IX/p. 31)
O listen, and I will ye tell (VII/p. 25)
One nicht as I lay on my bed (XVI/p. 58)
Quhilk o' ye lasses will go to Buchairn (XX/p. 69)
The Ram of Diram (XXVI/p. 80)
The Shoemaker (XV/p. 55)
Shoemaker, shoemaker, are ye within (XV/p. 55)
Sing archie owdum diddledum dow (XVIII/p. 64)
The Sleepy Merchant (II/p. 4)
Tam Barrow (XXIV/p. 77)
There cam a merchant to this toun (II/p. 4)
There was a handsome 'Strologer (X/p. 37)
There was a knight and a lady bright (V/ p. 16)
There was a little wee bridelie (XXVIII/p. 84)
There was a widow in Westmoreland (I./p. 1)
'Twas in the month of Februar (XXIV/p. 77)
The Widow o' Westmoreland (I./p. 1)
The Widow o' Westmoreland's Daughter (I./p. 1)
Widows are sour, and widows are dour (XIX/p. 67)
Will ye go to Crookieden (Intro/p. vi.)