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Rare Willie Drowned in Yarrow, or, The Water o Gamrie

No: 215; variant: 215D

  1. ‘WILLIE’S fair, and Willie’s rare, An he is wondrous bonnie, An Willie has promist to marry me, Gin ever he marry ony.’
  2. ‘Ye’s get Jammie, or ye’s [get] Johnnie, Or ye’s get bonny Peter; Ye’s get the wale o a’ my sons, But leave me Willie the writer.’
  3. ‘I winna hae Jamie, I winna hae Johnie, I winna hae bonny Peter; I winna hae ony o a’ your sons, An I get na Willie the writer.’
  4. . . . . . . . . There was threescore and ten brisk young men Was boun to briddal-stool wi him:
  5. ‘Ride on, ride on, my merry men a’, I forgot something behind me; I forgat my mither’s blessing, To hae to bride-stool wi me.’
  6. ‘God’s blessin an mine gae wi ye,Willie, God’s blessing an mine gae wi ye; For ye’re nae ane hour but bare nineteen, Fan ye’re gauin to meet your Meggie.’
  7. They rode on, and farther on, Till they came to the water o Gamrie, An they a’ wan safe through, Unless it was sweet Willie.
  8. The first ae step that Willie’s horse steppit, He steppit to the bridle; The next ae step that Willie’s horse steppit, Toom grew Willie’s saddle.
  9. They rod on, an farther on, Till they came to the kirk of Gamrie. . . . . . . . .
  10. Out spak the bonny bride, . . . . ‘Whar is the man that’s to gie me his han This day at the kirk of Gamrie?’
  11. Out spak his brother John, An O bat he was sorrie! ‘It fears me much, my bonny bride, He sleeps oure soun in Gamerie.’
  12. The ribbons that were on her hair—- An they were thick and monny—- She rive them a’, let them down fa, An is on [to] the water o Gamerie.
  13. She sought it up, she sought it down, She sought it braid and narrow; An in the deepest pot o Gamerie, There she got sweet Willie.
  14. She has kissd his comely mouth, As she had done before [O]: ‘Baith our mithers sall be alike sorry, For we’s baith sleep in Gamery.’