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Geordie

No: 209; variant: 209H

  1. ‘WILL ye go to the Hielans, my bonny lad? Will ye go to the Hielans, Geordie? Though ye tak the high road and I tak the low, I will be in the Hielans afore ye.’
  2. He hadna been in the high Hielans A month but barely twa, O, Till he was laid in Prison strong, For hunting the king’s deer and rae, O.
  3. ‘O where will I get a bonny, bonny boy, That will run my errand cannie, And gae quickly on to the bonny Bog o Gight, Wi a letter to my lady?’
  4. ‘O here am I, a bonny, bonny boy, That will run your errand cannie, And will gae on to the bonny Bog o Gight, Wi a letter to your lady.’
  5. When she did get this broad letter, A licht, licht laugh gae she, O; But before she read it to an end The saut tear was in her ee, O.
  6. ‘O has he robbd? or has he stown? Or has he kille:d ony? Or what is the ill that he has done, That he’s gaun to be hangd sae shortly?’
  7. ‘He hasna robbd, ha hasna stown, He hasna kille:d ony; But he has hunted the king’s deer and rae, And he willl be hange:d shortly.’
  8. ‘Come saddle to me the bonny brown steed, For the black never rade sae bonny, And I will gae on to Edinboro town To borrow the life o my Geordie.’
  9. The first water-side that she cam to, The boatman wasna ready; She gae anither skipper half-a-crown, To boat her oer the ferry.
  10. When she cam on to Edinboro town, The poor stood thick and mony; She dealt them money roun and roun, Bade them pray for the life o her Geordie.
  11. When she gaed up the tolbooth-stair, She saw there nobles mony, And ilka noble stood hat on head, But hat in hand stood Geordie.
  12. Then out it spak an English lord, And vow, but he spake bonny! ‘If ye pay down ten thousand crouns, Ye’ll get the life o your Geordie.’
  13. Some gae her marks, some gae her crouns, Some gae her guineas rarely, Till she paid down ten thousand crouns, And she got the life o her Geordie.
  14. Then out it spak an Irish lord, O wae befa his body! ‘It’s a pity the knicht didna lose his head, That I micht hae gotten his lady.’
  15. But out it spak the lady hersel, And vow, but she spak bonny! ‘The pock-marks are on your Irish face, You could not compare wi my Geordie!’
  16. When she was in the saddle set, And on ahint her Geordie, The bird on the bush neer sang sae sweet, As she sung to her love Geordie.
  17. ‘First I was mistress o bonny Auchindown, And I was lady o a’ Carnie, But now I have come to the bonny Bog o Gight, The wife o my true-love Geordie.
  18. If I were in the high Hielans, I would hear the white kye lowing; But I’d rather be on the bonny banks o Spey, To see the fish-boaties rowing.’