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Bonny John Seton

No: 198; variant: 198A

  1. UPON the eighteenth day of June, A dreary day to see, The southern lords did pitch their camp Just at the bridge of Dee.
  2. Bonny John Seton of Pitmeddin, A bold baron was he, He made his testament ere he went out, The wiser man was he.
  3. He left his land to his young son, His lady her dowry, A thousand crowns to his daughter Jean, Yet on the nurse’s knee.
  4. Then out came his lady fair, A tear into her ee; Says, Stay at home, my own good lord, O stay at home with me!
  5. He looked over his left shoulder, Cried, Souldiers, follow me! O then she looked in his face, An angry woman was she: ‘God send me back my steed again, But neer let me see thee!’
  6. His name was Major Middleton That manned the bridge of Dee, His name was Colonel Henderson That let the cannons flee.
  7. His name was Major Middleton That manned the bridge of Dee, And his name was Colonel Henderson That dung Pitmeddin in three.
  8. Some rode on the black and grey, And some rode on the brown, But the bonny John Seton Lay gasping on the ground.
  9. Then bye there comes a false Forbes, Was riding from Driminere; Says, Here there lies a proud Seton; This day they ride the rear.
  10. Cragievar said to his men, ‘You may play on your shield; For the proudest Seton in all the lan This day lies on the field.’
  11. ‘O spoil him! spoil him!’ cried Cragievar, ‘Him spoiled let me see; For on my word,’ said Cragievar, ‘He had no good will at me.’
  12. They took from him his armour clear, His sword, likewise his shield; Yea, they have left him naked there, Upon the open field.
  13. The Highland men, they’re clever men At handling sword and shield, But yet they are too naked men To stay in battle field.
  14. The Highland men are clever men At handling sword or gun, But yet they are too naked men To bear the cannon’s rung.
  15. For a cannon’s roar in a summer night Is like thunder in the air; There’s not a man in Highland dress Can face the cannon’s fire.