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Johnie Scott

No: 99; variant: 99G

  1. JOHNIE SCOTT’S a hunting gone, To England woods so wild, Until the king’s old dochter dear She goes to him with child.
  2. ‘If she be with bairn,’ her mother says, ‘As I trew weel she be, We’ll put her in a dark dungeon, And hunger her till she die.’
  3. ‘If she be with bairn,’ her father says, ‘As oh forbid she be! We’ll put her in a prison strong, And try the veritie.’
  4. The king did write a long letter, Sealed it with his own hand, And he sent it to Johnie Scot, To speak at his command.
  5. When Johnie read this letter long, The tear blindit his ee: ‘I must away to Old England; King Edward writes for me.’
  6. Out and spak his mother dear, She spoke aye in time: Son, if thou go to Old England, I fear thou’ll neer come hame.
  7. Out and spoke a Scotish prince, And a weel spoke man was he: Here’s four and twenty o my braw troops, To bear thee companie.
  8. Away they gade, awa they rade, Away they rade so slie; There was not a maried man that day In Johnie’s companie.
  9. The first good town that they passed thro, They made their bells to ring; The next good town that they passed thro, They made their music sing.
  10. The next gude town that they passed thro, They made their drums beat round, The king and a’ his gay armies Admiring at the sound.
  11. When they came to the king’s court, They travelled round about, And there he spied his own true-love, At a window looking out.
  12. ‘O fain wald I come down,’ she says, ‘Of that ye needna dout; But my garters they’re of cauld, cauld iron, And I can no win out.
  13. ‘My garters they’re of cauld, cauld iron, And it is very cold; My breast-plate is of sturdy steel, Instead o beaten gold.’
  14. Out and spoke the king himsell, And an angry man was he: The fairest lady in a’ my court, She goes with child to thee.
  15. ‘If your old doughter be with child, As I trew weel she be, I’le make it heir of a’ my land, And her my gay lady.’
  16. ‘There is a Talliant in my court, This day he’s killed three; And gin the morn by ten o’clock He’ll kill thy men and thee.’
  17. Johnie took sword into his hand, And walked cross the plain; There was many a weeping lady there, To see young Johnie slain.
  18. The Talliant, never knowing this, Now he’ll be Johnie’s dead, But, like unto a swallow swift, He flew out owre his head.
  19. Johnie was a valliant man, Weel taught in war was he, And on the point of his broad sword The Talliant stickit he.
  20. Johnie took sword into his hand, And walked cross the plain: ‘Are there here any moe of your English dogs That’s wanting to be slain?
  21. ‘A priest, a priest,’ young Johnie cries, ‘To wed my bride and me;’ ‘A clerk, a clerk,’ her father cried, ‘To tell her tocher wi.’
  22. ‘I’m wanting none of your gold,’ he says, ‘As little of your gear; But give me just mine own true-love, I think I’ve won her dear.’
  23. Johnie sets horn into his mouth, And he blew loud and schrill; The honour it’s to Scotland come, Sore against England’s will.