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Johnie Cock

No: 114; variant: 114H

  1. JOHNNIE raise up in a May morning, Calld for water to wash his hands, And he’s commant his bluidy dogs To be loosd frae their iron bands. bands To be loosd frae their iron bands
  2. ‘Win up, win up, my bluidy dogs, Win up, and be unbound, And we will on to Bride’s Braidmuir, And ding the dun deer down.’
  3. When his mother got word o that, Then she took bed and lay; Says, Johnnie, my son, for my blessing, Ye’ll stay at hame this day.
  4. There’s baken bread and brown ale Shall be at your command; Ye’ll win your mither’s blythe blessing, To the Bride’s Braidmuir nae gang.
  5. Mony are my friends, mither, Though thousands were my foe; Betide me life, betide me death, To the Bride’s Braidmuir I’ll go.
  6. The sark that was on Johnnie’s back Was o the cambric fine; The belt that was around his middle Wi pearlins it did shine.
  7. The coat that was upon his back Was o the linsey brown; And he’s awa to the Bride’s Braidmuir, To ding the dun deer down.
  8. Johnnie lookd east, Johnnie lookd west, And turnd him round and round, And there he saw the king’s dun deer, Was cowing the bush o brune.
  9. Johnnie shot, and the dun deer lap, He wounded her in the side; Between him and yon burnie-bank, Johnnie he laid her pride.
  10. He ate sae muckle o the venison, He drank sae muckle bleed, Till he lay down between his hounds, And slept as he’d been dead.
  11. But by there came a stane-auld man, An ill death mat he dee! For he is on to the Seven Foresters, As fast as gang could he.
  12. ‘What news, what news, ye stane-auld man? What news hae ye brought you wi?’ ‘Nae news, nae news, ye seven foresters, But what your eyes will see.
  13. ‘As I gaed i yon rough thick hedge, Amang yon bramly scroggs, The fairest youth that eer I saw Lay sleeping between his dogs.
  14. ‘The sark that was upon his back Was o the cambric fine; The belt that was around his middle Wi pearlins it did shine.’
  15. Then out it speaks the first forester: Whether this be true or no, O if it’s Johnnie o Cocklesmuir, Nae forder need we go.
  16. Out it spake the second forester, A fierce fellow was he: Betide me life, betide me death, This youth we’ll go and see.
  17. As they gaed in yon rough thick hedge, And down yon forest gay, They came to that very same place Where John o Cockis he lay.
  18. The first an shot they shot at him, They wounded him in the thigh; Out spake the first forester’s son: By the next shot he maun die.
  19. ‘O stand ye true, my trusty bow, And stout steel never fail! Avenge me now on all my foes, Who have my life i bail.’
  20. Then Johnnie killd six foresters, And wounded the seventh sair; Then drew a stroke at the stane-auld man, That words he neer spake mair.
  21. His mother’s parrot in window sat, She whistled and she sang, And aye the owerturn o the note, ‘Young Johnnie’s biding lang.’
  22. When this reached the king’s own ears, It grievd him wondrous sair; Says, I’d rather they’d hurt my subjects all Than Johnnie o Cocklesmuir.
  23. ‘But where are all my wall-wight men, That I pay meat and fee, Will gang the morn to Johnnie’s castle, See how the cause may be.’
  24. Then he’s calld Johnnie up to court, Treated him handsomelie, And now to hunt in the Bride’s Braidmuir, For life has license free.