Bonny Baby Livingston
No: 222; variant: 222B
- BONNY Barbara Livingston
Went out to take the air,
When came the laird o Glenlyon
And staw the maiden fair.
- He staw her in her cloak, her cloak,
He staw her in her gown;
Before he let her look again,
Was mony mile frae town.
- So they rade over hills and dales,
Through m[o]ny a wilsome way,
Till they came to the head o yon hill,
And showed her ewes and kye.
- ‘O will ye stay with me, Barbara,
And get good curds and whey?
Or will ye go to Glenlyon,
And be a lady gay?’
- ‘The Highlands is nae for me, kind sir,
The Highlands is nae for me,
But, gin ye woud my favour win,
Have me to bonny Dundee.’
- ‘Dundee, Barbara? Dundee, Barbara?
That town ye’se never see;
I’ll hae you to a finer place
Than eer was in Dundee.’
- But when she came to Glenlyon,
And lighted on the green,
Every lady spake Earse to her,
But Barbara could speak nane.
- When they were all at dinner set,
And placed the table round,
Every one took some of it,
But Barbara took nane.
- She put it to her cheek, her cheek,
She put it to her chin,
She put it to her rosey lips,
But neer a bit gaed in.
- When day was gone, and night was come,
And a’ man bound for bed,
Glenlyon and that fair lady
To one chamber were laid.
- ‘O strip, O strip, my love,’ he said,
‘O strip and lay you down;’
‘How can I strip? How can I strip,
To bed wi an unco man?’
- He’s taen out his little pen-knife,
And he slit down her gown,
And cut her stays behind her back,
And forc’d her to lie down.
- ‘O day, dear sir! O day, dear sir!
O dear! if it were day,
And me upon my father’s steed,
I soon shoud ride away.’
- ‘Your father’s steed is in my stable,
Eating good corn and hay,
And ye are in my arms twa;
What needs you lang for day?’
- ‘If I had paper, pens, and ink,
And light that I may see,
I woud write a broad, broad letter
To my love in Dundee.’
- They brought her paper, pen, and ink,
And light that she might see,
And she has written a broad letter
To her love in Dundee.
- And aye she wrote, and aye she grat,
The saut tear blinded her ee;
And aye at every verse’s end,
‘Haste, my bonny love, to me!’
- ‘If I had but a little wee boy,
Would work for meat and fee,
Would go and carry this letter
To my love in Dundee!’
- ‘O here am I, a little wee boy
Will work for meat and fee,
Will go and carry that letter
To your love in Dundee.’
- Upstarts the morn, the boy he ran
Oer mony a hill and dale,
And he wan on to bonny Dundee
About the hour o twall.
- There geordy oer a window lay,
Beholding dale and down;
And he beheld a little wee boy
Come running to the town.
- ‘What news? what news, my little wee boy,
You run sae hastilie?’
‘Your love is stown by Glenlyon,
And langs your face to see.’
- ‘Gae saddle to me the black, the black,
Gae saddle to me the brown;
Gae saddle to me the swiftest steed
Will hae me to the town.
- ‘Get me my hat, dyed o the black,
My mourning-mantle tee,
And I will on to Glenlyon,
See my love ere she die.’
- First he tired the black, the black,
And then he tired the brown,
And next he tired the swiftest steed
Ere he wan to the town.
- But for as fast as her love rade,
And as fast as he ran,
Before he wan to Glenlyon
His love was dead and gane.
- Then he has kissd her cheek, her cheek,
And he has kissd her chin,
And he has kissd her comely mouth,
But no life was therein.
- ‘O wae mat worth you, Glenlyon,
An ill death mat ye die!
Ye’ve twind me and the fairest flower
My eyes did ever see.
- ‘But I will kiss your cheek, Barbara,
And I will kiss your chin,
And I will kiss your comely mouth,
But neer woman’s again.
- ‘Deal well, deal well at my love’s lyke
The beer but and the wine,
For ere the morn at this same time
Ye’ll deal the same at mine.’