Johnie Cock

No: 114; variant: 114D

  1. UP Johnie raise in a May morning, Calld for water to wash his hands, And he has calld for his gude gray hunds, That lay bund in iron bands. bands That lay bund in iron bands
  2. ‘Ye’ll busk, ye’ll busk my noble dogs, Ye’ll busk and mak them boun, For I’m going to the Braidscaur hill, To ding the dun deer doun.’
  3. Whan Johnie’s mither gat word o that, On the very bed she lay, Says, Johnie, for my malison, I pray ye at hame to stay.
  4. Your meat sall be of the very, very best, Your drink sall be the same, And ye will win your mither’s benison, Gin ye wad stay at hame.
  5. But Johnie has cast aff the black velvet, And put on the Lincoln twine, And he is on to gude greenwud, As fast as he could gang.
  6. His mither’s counsel he wad na tak, He’s aff, and left the toun, He’s aff unto the Braidscaur hill, To ding the dun deer doun.
  7. Johnie lookit east, and Johnie lookit west, And he lookit aneath the sun, And there he spied the dun deer sleeping, Aneath a buss of whun.
  8. Johnie shot, and the dun deer lap, And he’s scaithed him in the side, And atween the water and the wud He laid the dun deer’s pride.
  9. They ate sae meikle o the venison, And drank sae meikle o the blude, That Johnie and his twa gray hunds Fell asleep in yonder wud.
  10. By ther cam a silly auld man, And a silly auld man was he, And he’s aff to the proud foresters, As fast as he could dree.
  11. ‘What news, what news, my silly auld man? What news? come tell to me:’ ‘I heard na news, I speird na news But what my een did see.
  12. ‘As I cam in by Braidisbanks, And doun amang the whuns, The bonniest youngster eer I saw Lay sleepin amang his hunds.
  13. ‘His cheeks war like the roses red, His neck was like the snaw; His sark was o the holland fine, And his jerkin lac’d fu braw.’
  14. Up bespak the first forester, The first forester of a’: O this is Johnie o Cockerslee; Come draw, lads, we maun draw.
  15. Up bespak the niest forester, The niest forester of a’: An this be Johnie o Cockerslee, To him we winna draw.
  16. The first shot that they did shoot, They woundit him on the bree; Up bespak the uncle’s son, ‘The niest will gar him die.’
  17. The second shot that eer they shot, It scaithd him near the heart; ‘I only wauken,’ Johnie cried, ‘Whan first I find the smart.
  18. ‘Stand stout, stand stout, my noble dogs, Stand stout, and dinna flee; Stand fast, stand fast, my gude gray hunds, And we will gar them die.’
  19. He has killed six o the proud foresters, And wounded the seventh sair: He laid his leg out owre his steed, Says, I will kill na mair.
  20. ‘Oh wae befa thee, silly auld man, An ill death may thee dee! Upon thy head be a’ this blude, For mine, I ween, is free.’