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My name it is Jean and my age is fifteen,
My father's a farmer, he leeves near the Green,
He has money in plenty, that mak's me sae braw,
And there's no bonnie laddie tae tak' me awa'.

When I rise in the morning my spirits is low,
The very first thing tae the taypot I go,
With my toes in the ashes I sit by the wa'
And sigh for a laddie tae tak' me awa'.

My shoes they are made o' the 'lastic so strong,
That they are admired by both old and young,
A sixpence would cover my heels, they're so sma',
Yet there's nae bonnie laddie tae tak' me awa'.

It's ten times a day I luk in the glass,
I think tae mysel' I'm a gye bonnie lass,
Wi' my hands on my hinches I gie a "Ha, ha!"
Saying, "Is there nae bonnie laddie tae tak' me awa'?"

At church every Sunday I'm sure to be there,
But the clergy ne'er mentions in preachin' or prayer,
In preachin' or prayer there's nae word ava
Tae order young men tae tak' lasses awa'.

Each evening at duskis I mak' mysel' clean,
Wi' ruffles an' ribbons as gay as a queen,
Wi' the finest hair cushions and curls sae braw,
Yet there's nae bonnie laddie tae tak' me awa'.

And when I come hame then my mother does cry,
"For as braw as ye're dressed a' the lads pass ye by,
Ere I was your age I had lads twenty-twa,
But I think ne'er a laddie will tak' ye awa'."

This speech o' my mother's it mak's me quite mad,
For tae think that I'm courted by never a lad,
Yet I hope the time's comin' when it will end a'
And some bonnie laddie will tak' me awa'.

Then be not offended at what I hae said,
For it's but the language o' every young maid,
It's the wish o' a' wishes o' yin and o' a'
That some bonnie laddie will tak' them awa'.

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Source: Sam Henry's Songs of the People, Gale Huntington & Lani Herrmann, 1990.

Ref.H230. From Pat Hackett of Stone Row, Coleraine, 1928. The text was collated from three received by Sam Henry, and was published in his Songs of the People column in The Northern Constitution, 29th July 1928.

The song is a form of Nae Bonnie Laddie will tak' Me Awa', which Robert Ford (Vagabond Songs of Scotland, 1899) ascribes to Thomas Scot[t] of Falkirk; he is supposed to have written it at the close of the eighteenth century, about the daughter of a farmer in the neighbourhood, named Russel[l]. Ford prints fourteen verses but no tune.

The melody used for the widespread children's game-song Queen Mary, which retains portions of the earlier song, is [The Bonnets of] Bonnie Dundee, which first came to notice as a piece for the piano by Edwin Merriott, The Band March: "Representing the band at a distance"; it was a popular party-piece in the early years of the 19th century.

Annie Geddes Gilchrist (Journal of the Folk Song Society, vol.V issue 19, 1915, pp.221-3) thought it likely that this was the tune to which Nae Bonnie Laddie was originally sung.

Roud: 6281 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

Related Songs:  Queen Mary (thematic)

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