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Johnie Scott

No: 99; variant: 99[Q]

  1. Young Johnie’s up to England gane Three quarters of a year; Young Johnie’s up to England gane, The king’s banner for to bear.
  2. But he had not in England been The one half of the time Till the fairest laidy in all the court Was going with child to him.
  3. Word unto the kitchen’s gane, And word’s to the hall, And word unto the court has gane, Among the nobles all.
  4. And word unto the chamber’s gane, The place where the king sat, That his only daughter is with child To Johnie, the little Scott.
  5. ‘If this be true,’ then sais the king, ‘As I true well it be, I’ll put hir in a strong castle, And hungre hir till she dee.’
  6. Hir breast-plate was made of iron, In place of the beaten gold, A belt of steel about hir waist, And O but she was cold!
  7. ‘O where will I get a pritty little boy, That will win hoes ahd shoon, That will go doun to yonder lee And tell young Johnie to come?’
  8. ‘Here am I, a pritty little boy, That will win hoes ahd shoon, And I’ll go doun to yonder lee And tell young Johnie to come.’
  9. She has wrote a brod letter, And seald it tenderly, And she has sent it to Johnie the Scott, That lay on yonder lee.
  10. When Johnie first the letter got, A blith, blith man was be; But or he read the half of it The salt teer blind Johnie’s ee.
  11. ‘I will go to fair England,’ says he, ‘What ever may betide, For to releave that gay laidy Who last lay by my side.’
  12. Up then spoke his old mother, A sorrifull woman was she; ‘If you go to England, John, I’ll never see you mare.’
  13. Up then spoke Johnie’s father, His head was growing gray; ‘If you go to England, John, O fair you well for me!’
  14. up then spoke Johnie’s uncle, Our Scottish king was he; ‘Five hundred of my merry men Shall bear you company.’
  15. When Johnie was mounted on his steed He looked wondorous bold, The hair that oer his shouldiers hang Like threeds of yellow gold.
  16. ‘Now come along with me, my men, O come along with me, We’l blow thier castles in the air, And set free my gay laidy.’
  17. The first gay town that they came to, Made mass for to be sung; The nixt gay town that they came to, Made bells for to be rung.’
  18. But when they came to London town, They made the drums beat round, Who made the king and all his court To wonder at the sound.
  19. ‘Is this the Duke of Mulberry, Or James the Scottish king? Or is it a young gentleman To England new come home?’
  20. ‘It is not the Duke of Mulberry, Nor James the Scottish [king]; But is a young gentleman, MacNaughten is his name.’
  21. ‘If MacNaughten be your name,’ says the king, ‘As I true well it be, Before the morn at eight o clock Dead hanged you shall be.’
  22. Up bespoke one of Johnie’s little boys, And a well-spoke boy was he; ‘Before we see our master hangd, We’l all fight till we dee.’
  23. ‘Well spoke, well spoke, my little boy, That is well spoke of thee; But I have a champian in my bower That will fight you three by three.’
  24. Up then spoke Johnie himself, And he spoke manfully; ‘If it please your Majesty, May I this champian see?’
  25. The king and all his nobles then Rode down unto the plain, The queen and all [her] gay marries, To see young Johnie slain.
  26. When the champian came out of the bower, He looked at Johnie with disdain; But upon the tope of Johnie’s brodsword This champian soon was slain.
  27. He fought on, and Johnie fought on, With swords of tempered steel, And ay the blood like dropes of rain Came trinkling down thier hiel.
  28. The very nixt stroke that Johnie gave, He brought him till his knee; The nixt stroke that Johnie gave, He clove his head in twa.
  29. He swapt his sword on every side, And turned him on the plain: ‘Have you any more of your English dogs That wants for to be slain?’
  30. ‘A clerk, a clerk!’ the king he crys, ‘I’ll seal her taucher free;’ ‘A priest, a priest!’ the queen she crys, ‘For weded they shall be.’
  31. ‘I’ll have none of your [gold],’ say[s] he, ‘Nor any of your white money; But I will have my ain true-love; This day she has cost me dear.’