"I once lov'd a boy, a bonnie, bonnie boy,
I lov'd him; I'll vow and protest;
I lov'd him so well, and so very, very well
That I built him a berth on my breast,
That I built him a berth_ on my breast."
'Twas upon the green valley and down the green grove
Like one that was troubled in mind,
She whooped and she halloed and she played upon her pipe,
But no bonnie boy could she find,
But no bonnie boy could she find.
She look-ed up high and she look-ed down low,
The sun did shine wonderful warm;
Whom should she spy there but her bonnie, bonnie boy,
So close in another girl's arms,
So close in another girl's arm.
"I pass-ed him by, on him ne'er cast an eye,
Though he strectched forth his lily-white hand,
For I thought he'd be bound to love but one,
So I would not obey his command,
So I would not obey his command.
"The girl that was loved of my little bonnie boy,
I am sure she is greatly to blame,
For many's the night he has robbed me of my rest,
But he never shall do it again,
But he never shall do it again.
"My bonnie, bonnie boy is gone over the sea,
I fear I shan't she him again;
But were I to have him. or were I to not,
I will think of him once now and then,
I will think of him once now and then."
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Source: Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland. 1893, English County Songs, Leadenhall Press, London
Lucy Broadwood wrote:
Chappell, in Popular Music, refers to a similar ballad dating from Charles II's time, called "My bonnie Bird", or "Cupid's Trepan." The above words with very slight differences, but without the last verse, are in The New Cabinet of Love, songs sung at Vauxhall. The air shews the influence of the Dorian mode.
Roud: 293 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six