Johnie Cock

No: 114; variant: 114A

  1. JOHNY he has risen up i the morn, Calls for water to wash his hands; But little knew he that his bloody hounds Were bound in iron bands. bands Were bound in iron bands
  2. Johny’s mother has gotten word o that, And care-bed she has taen: ‘O Johny, for my benison, I beg you’l stay at hame; For the wine so red, and the well baken bread, My Johny shall want nane.
  3. ‘There are seven forsters at Pickeram Side, At Pickeram where they dwell, And for a drop of thy heart’s bluid They wad ride the fords of hell.’
  4. Johny he’s gotten word of that, And he’s turnd wondrous keen; He’s put off the red scarlett, And he’s put on the Lincolm green.
  5. With a sheaf of arrows by his side, And a bent bow in his hand, He’s mounted on a prancing steed, And he has ridden fast oer the strand.
  6. He’s up i Braidhouplee, and down i Bradyslee, And under a buss o broom, And there he found a good dun deer, Feeding in a buss of ling.
  7. Johny shot, and the dun deer lap, And she lap wondrous wide, Until they came to the wan water, And he stemd her of her pride.
  8. He ‘as taen out the little pen-knife, ‘Twas full three quarters long, And he has taen out of that dun deer The liver bot and the tongue.
  9. They eat of the flesh, and they drank of the blood, And the blood it was so sweet, Which caused Johny and his bloody hounds To fall in a deep sleep.
  10. By then came an old palmer, And an ill death may he die! For he’s away to Pickram Side, As fast as he can drie.
  11. ‘What news, what news?’ says the Seven Forsters, ‘What news have ye brought to me?’ ‘I have noe news,’ the palmer said, ‘But what I saw with my eye.
  12. ‘High up i Bradyslee, low down i Bradisslee, And under a buss of scroggs, O there I spied a well-wight man, Sleeping among his dogs.
  13. ‘His coat it was of light Lincolm, And his breeches of the same, His shoes of the American leather, And gold buckles tying them.’
  14. Up bespake the Seven Forsters, Up bespake they ane and a’: O that is Johny o Cockleys Well, And near him we will draw.
  15. O the first y stroke that they gae him, They struck him off by the knee; Then up bespake his sister’s son: ‘O the next ‘ll gar him die!’
  16. ‘O some they count ye well-wight men, But I do count ye nane; For you might well ha wakend me, And askd gin I wad be taen.
  17. ‘The wildest wolf in aw this wood Wad not ha done so by me; She’d ha wet her foot ith wan water, And sprinkled it oer my brae, And if that wad not ha wakend me, She wad ha gone and let me be.
  18. ‘O bows of yew, if ye be true, In London, where ye were bought, Fingers five, get up belive, Manhuid shall fail me nought.’
  19. He has killd the Seven Forsters, He has killd them all but ane, And that wan scarce to Pickeram Side, To carry the bode-words hame.
  20. ‘Is there never a boy in a’ this wood That will tell what I can say; That will go to Cockleys Well, Tell my mither to fetch me away?’
  21. There was a boy into that wood, That carried the tidings away, And many ae was the well-wight man At the fetching o Johny away.