Bonny Baby Livingston

No: 222; variant: 222B

  1. BONNY Barbara Livingston Went out to take the air, When came the laird o Glenlyon And staw the maiden fair.
  2. He staw her in her cloak, her cloak, He staw her in her gown; Before he let her look again, Was mony mile frae town.
  3. So they rade over hills and dales, Through m[o]ny a wilsome way, Till they came to the head o yon hill, And showed her ewes and kye.
  4. ‘O will ye stay with me, Barbara, And get good curds and whey? Or will ye go to Glenlyon, And be a lady gay?’
  5. ‘The Highlands is nae for me, kind sir, The Highlands is nae for me, But, gin ye woud my favour win, Have me to bonny Dundee.’
  6. ‘Dundee, Barbara? Dundee, Barbara? That town ye’se never see; I’ll hae you to a finer place Than eer was in Dundee.’
  7. But when she came to Glenlyon, And lighted on the green, Every lady spake Earse to her, But Barbara could speak nane.
  8. When they were all at dinner set, And placed the table round, Every one took some of it, But Barbara took nane.
  9. She put it to her cheek, her cheek, She put it to her chin, She put it to her rosey lips, But neer a bit gaed in.
  10. When day was gone, and night was come, And a’ man bound for bed, Glenlyon and that fair lady To one chamber were laid.
  11. ‘O strip, O strip, my love,’ he said, ‘O strip and lay you down;’ ‘How can I strip? How can I strip, To bed wi an unco man?’
  12. He’s taen out his little pen-knife, And he slit down her gown, And cut her stays behind her back, And forc’d her to lie down.
  13. ‘O day, dear sir! O day, dear sir! O dear! if it were day, And me upon my father’s steed, I soon shoud ride away.’
  14. ‘Your father’s steed is in my stable, Eating good corn and hay, And ye are in my arms twa; What needs you lang for day?’
  15. ‘If I had paper, pens, and ink, And light that I may see, I woud write a broad, broad letter To my love in Dundee.’
  16. They brought her paper, pen, and ink, And light that she might see, And she has written a broad letter To her love in Dundee.
  17. And aye she wrote, and aye she grat, The saut tear blinded her ee; And aye at every verse’s end, ‘Haste, my bonny love, to me!’
  18. ‘If I had but a little wee boy, Would work for meat and fee, Would go and carry this letter To my love in Dundee!’
  19. ‘O here am I, a little wee boy Will work for meat and fee, Will go and carry that letter To your love in Dundee.’
  20. Upstarts the morn, the boy he ran Oer mony a hill and dale, And he wan on to bonny Dundee About the hour o twall.
  21. There geordy oer a window lay, Beholding dale and down; And he beheld a little wee boy Come running to the town.
  22. ‘What news? what news, my little wee boy, You run sae hastilie?’ ‘Your love is stown by Glenlyon, And langs your face to see.’
  23. ‘Gae saddle to me the black, the black, Gae saddle to me the brown; Gae saddle to me the swiftest steed Will hae me to the town.
  24. ‘Get me my hat, dyed o the black, My mourning-mantle tee, And I will on to Glenlyon, See my love ere she die.’
  25. First he tired the black, the black, And then he tired the brown, And next he tired the swiftest steed Ere he wan to the town.
  26. But for as fast as her love rade, And as fast as he ran, Before he wan to Glenlyon His love was dead and gane.
  27. Then he has kissd her cheek, her cheek, And he has kissd her chin, And he has kissd her comely mouth, But no life was therein.
  28. ‘O wae mat worth you, Glenlyon, An ill death mat ye die! Ye’ve twind me and the fairest flower My eyes did ever see.
  29. ‘But I will kiss your cheek, Barbara, And I will kiss your chin, And I will kiss your comely mouth, But neer woman’s again.
  30. ‘Deal well, deal well at my love’s lyke The beer but and the wine, For ere the morn at this same time Ye’ll deal the same at mine.’