Bonny Baby Livingston
No: 222; variant: 222A
- O BONNY Baby Livingston
Went forth to view the hay,
And by it came him Glenlion,
Sta bonny Baby away.
- O first he’s taen her silken coat,
And neest her satten gown,
Syne rowd her in a tartan plaid,
And hapd her round and rown.
- He has set her upon his steed
And roundly rode away,
And neer loot her look back again
The live-long summer’s day.
- He’s carried her oer hills and muirs
Till they came to a Highland glen,
And there he’s met his brother John,
With twenty armed men.
- O there were cows, and there were ewes,
And lasses milking there,
But Baby neer anse lookd about,
Her heart was filld wi care.
- Glenlion took her in his arms,
And kissd her, cheek and chin;
Says, I’d gie a’ these cows and ewes
But ae kind look to win.
- ‘O ae kind look ye neer shall get,
Nor win a smile frae me,
Unless to me you’ll favour shew,
And take me to Dundee.’
- ‘Dundee, Baby? Dundee, Baby?
Dundee you neer shall see
Till I’ve carried you to Glenlion
And have my bride made thee.
- ‘We’ll stay a while at Auchingour,
And get sweet milk and cheese,
And syne we’ll gang to Glenlion,
And there live at our ease.’
- ‘I winna stay at Auchingour,
Nor eat sweet milk and cheese,
Nor go with thee to Glenlion,
For there I’ll neer find ease.’
- Than out it spake his brother John,
‘O were I in your place,
I’d take that lady hame again,
For a’ her bonny face.
- ‘Commend me to the lass that’s kind,
Tho na so gently born;
And, gin her heart I coudna gain,
To take her hand I’d scorn.’
- ‘O had your tongue now, John,’ he says,
‘You wis na what you say;
‘For I’ve lood that bonny face
This twelve month and a day.
- ‘And tho I’ve lood her lang and sair
A smile I neer coud win;
Yet what I’ve got anse in my power
To keep I think nae sin.’
- When they came to Glenlion castle,
They lighted at the yate,
And out it came his sisters three,
Wha did them kindly greet.
- O they’ve taen Baby by the hands
And led her oer the green,
And ilka lady spake a word,
But bonny Baby spake nane.
- Then out it spake her bonny Jean,
The youngest o the three,
‘O lady, dinna look sae sad,
But tell your grief to me.’
- ‘O wherefore should I tell my grief,
Since lax I canna find?
I’m stown frae a’ my kin and friends,
And my love I left behind.
- ‘But had I paper, pen, and ink,
Before that it were day,
I yet might get a letter sent
In time to Johny Hay.’
- O she’s got paper, pen, and ink,
And candle that she might see,
And she has written a broad letter
To Johny at Dundee.
- And she has gotten a bonny boy,
That was baith swift and strang,
Wi philabeg and bonnet blue,
Her errand for to gang.
- ‘O boy, gin ye’d my blessing win
And help me in my need,
Run wi this letter to my love,
And bid him come wi speed.
- ‘And here’s a chain of good red gowd,
And gowdn guineas three,
And when you’ve well your errand done,
You’ll get them for your fee.’
- The boy he ran oer hill and dale,
Fast as a bird coud flee,
And eer the sun was twa hours height
The boy was at Dundee.
- And when he came to Johny’s door
He knocked loud and sair;
Then Johny to the window came,
And loudly cry’d, ‘Wha’s there?’
- ‘O here’s a letter I have brought,
Which ye maun quickly read,
And, gin ye woud your lady save,
Gang back wi me wi speed.’
- O when he had the letter read,
An angry man was he;
He says, Glenlion, thou shalt rue
This deed of villany!
- ‘O saddle to me the black, the black,
O saddle to me the brown,
O saddle to me the swiftest steed
That eer rade frae the town.
- ‘And arm ye well, my merry men a’,
And follow me to the glen,
For I vow I’ll neither eat nor sleep
Till I get my love again.’
- He’s mounted on a milk-white steed,
The boy upon a gray,
And they got to Glenlion’s castle
About the close of day.
- As Baby at her window stood,
The west wind saft did bla;
She heard her Johny’s well-kent voice,
Beneath the castle wa.
- ‘O Baby, haste, the window jump!
I’ll kep you in my arm;
My merry men a’ are at the yate,
To rescue you frae harm.’
- She to the window fixt her sheets
And slipped safely down,
And Johny catchd her in his arms,
Neer loot her touch the ground.
- When mounted on her Johny’s horse,
Fou blithely did she say,
‘Glenlion, you hae lost your bride!
She’s aff wi Johny Hay.’
- Glenlion and his brother John
Were birling in the ha,
When they heard Johny’s bridle ring,
As first he rade awa.
- ‘Rise, Jock, gang out and meet the priest,
I hear his bridle ring;
My Baby now shall be my wife
Before the laverocks sing.’
- ‘O brother, this is not the priest;
I fear he’ll come oer late;
For armed men with shining brands
Stand at the castle-yate.’
- ‘Haste Donald, Duncan, Dugald, Hugh!
Haste, take your sword and spier!
We’ll gar these traytors rue the hour
That eer they ventured here.’
- The Highland men drew their claymores,
And gae a warlike shout,
But Johny’s merry men kept the yate,
Nae ane durst venture out.
- The lovers rade the live-lang night,
And safe gat on their way,
And bonny Baby Livingston
Has gotten Johny Hay.
- ‘Awa, Glenlion! fy for shame!
Gae hide ye in some den!
You’ve lettn your bride be stown frae you,
For a’ your armed men.’