Bonny Baby Livingston

No: 222; variant: 222A

  1. O BONNY Baby Livingston Went forth to view the hay, And by it came him Glenlion, Sta bonny Baby away.
  2. O first he’s taen her silken coat, And neest her satten gown, Syne rowd her in a tartan plaid, And hapd her round and rown.
  3. He has set her upon his steed And roundly rode away, And neer loot her look back again The live-long summer’s day.
  4. He’s carried her oer hills and muirs Till they came to a Highland glen, And there he’s met his brother John, With twenty armed men.
  5. O there were cows, and there were ewes, And lasses milking there, But Baby neer anse lookd about, Her heart was filld wi care.
  6. Glenlion took her in his arms, And kissd her, cheek and chin; Says, I’d gie a’ these cows and ewes But ae kind look to win.
  7. ‘O ae kind look ye neer shall get, Nor win a smile frae me, Unless to me you’ll favour shew, And take me to Dundee.’
  8. ‘Dundee, Baby? Dundee, Baby? Dundee you neer shall see Till I’ve carried you to Glenlion And have my bride made thee.
  9. ‘We’ll stay a while at Auchingour, And get sweet milk and cheese, And syne we’ll gang to Glenlion, And there live at our ease.’
  10. ‘I winna stay at Auchingour, Nor eat sweet milk and cheese, Nor go with thee to Glenlion, For there I’ll neer find ease.’
  11. Than out it spake his brother John, ‘O were I in your place, I’d take that lady hame again, For a’ her bonny face.
  12. ‘Commend me to the lass that’s kind, Tho na so gently born; And, gin her heart I coudna gain, To take her hand I’d scorn.’
  13. ‘O had your tongue now, John,’ he says, ‘You wis na what you say; ‘For I’ve lood that bonny face This twelve month and a day.
  14. ‘And tho I’ve lood her lang and sair A smile I neer coud win; Yet what I’ve got anse in my power To keep I think nae sin.’
  15. When they came to Glenlion castle, They lighted at the yate, And out it came his sisters three, Wha did them kindly greet.
  16. O they’ve taen Baby by the hands And led her oer the green, And ilka lady spake a word, But bonny Baby spake nane.
  17. Then out it spake her bonny Jean, The youngest o the three, ‘O lady, dinna look sae sad, But tell your grief to me.’
  18. ‘O wherefore should I tell my grief, Since lax I canna find? I’m stown frae a’ my kin and friends, And my love I left behind.
  19. ‘But had I paper, pen, and ink, Before that it were day, I yet might get a letter sent In time to Johny Hay.’
  20. O she’s got paper, pen, and ink, And candle that she might see, And she has written a broad letter To Johny at Dundee.
  21. And she has gotten a bonny boy, That was baith swift and strang, Wi philabeg and bonnet blue, Her errand for to gang.
  22. ‘O boy, gin ye’d my blessing win And help me in my need, Run wi this letter to my love, And bid him come wi speed.
  23. ‘And here’s a chain of good red gowd, And gowdn guineas three, And when you’ve well your errand done, You’ll get them for your fee.’
  24. The boy he ran oer hill and dale, Fast as a bird coud flee, And eer the sun was twa hours height The boy was at Dundee.
  25. And when he came to Johny’s door He knocked loud and sair; Then Johny to the window came, And loudly cry’d, ‘Wha’s there?’
  26. ‘O here’s a letter I have brought, Which ye maun quickly read, And, gin ye woud your lady save, Gang back wi me wi speed.’
  27. O when he had the letter read, An angry man was he; He says, Glenlion, thou shalt rue This deed of villany!
  28. ‘O saddle to me the black, the black, O saddle to me the brown, O saddle to me the swiftest steed That eer rade frae the town.
  29. ‘And arm ye well, my merry men a’, And follow me to the glen, For I vow I’ll neither eat nor sleep Till I get my love again.’
  30. He’s mounted on a milk-white steed, The boy upon a gray, And they got to Glenlion’s castle About the close of day.
  31. As Baby at her window stood, The west wind saft did bla; She heard her Johny’s well-kent voice, Beneath the castle wa.
  32. ‘O Baby, haste, the window jump! I’ll kep you in my arm; My merry men a’ are at the yate, To rescue you frae harm.’
  33. She to the window fixt her sheets And slipped safely down, And Johny catchd her in his arms, Neer loot her touch the ground.
  34. When mounted on her Johny’s horse, Fou blithely did she say, ‘Glenlion, you hae lost your bride! She’s aff wi Johny Hay.’
  35. Glenlion and his brother John Were birling in the ha, When they heard Johny’s bridle ring, As first he rade awa.
  36. ‘Rise, Jock, gang out and meet the priest, I hear his bridle ring; My Baby now shall be my wife Before the laverocks sing.’
  37. ‘O brother, this is not the priest; I fear he’ll come oer late; For armed men with shining brands Stand at the castle-yate.’
  38. ‘Haste Donald, Duncan, Dugald, Hugh! Haste, take your sword and spier! We’ll gar these traytors rue the hour That eer they ventured here.’
  39. The Highland men drew their claymores, And gae a warlike shout, But Johny’s merry men kept the yate, Nae ane durst venture out.
  40. The lovers rade the live-lang night, And safe gat on their way, And bonny Baby Livingston Has gotten Johny Hay.
  41. ‘Awa, Glenlion! fy for shame! Gae hide ye in some den! You’ve lettn your bride be stown frae you, For a’ your armed men.’