The Earl of Errol

No: 231; variant: 231A

  1. THERE was a jury sat at Perth, In the merry month of May, Betwixt the noble Duke of Perth But and Sir Gilbert Hay.
  2. My lord Kingside has two daughters, They are proper, straight and tall; But my lord Carnegie he has two That far excells them all.
  3. Then Errol he has dressd him, As very well he could; I’m sure there was not one cloth-yard But what was trimmed with gold.
  4. ‘Ane asking, ane asking, my lord Carnegie, Ane asking I’ve to thee; I’m come to court your daughter Jean, My wedded wife to be.’
  5. ‘My daughter Jean was wed yestreen, To one of high degree, But where Jean got one guinea of gold With Kate I’ll give thee three.
  6. ‘Full fifteen hundred pounds Had Jean Carnegie, But three fifteen hundred pounds With Kate I’ll gie to thee.’
  7. Then Errol he has wed her, And fairly brought her hame; There was nae peace between them twa Till they sundered oer again.
  8. When bells were rung, and mess was sung, And a’ man bound to bed, The Earl of Errol and his countess In one chamber was laid.
  9. Early in the morning My lord Carnegie rose, The Earl of Errol and his countess, And they’ve put on their clothes.
  10. Up spake my lord Carnegie; ‘Kate, is your toucher won?’ ‘Ye may ask the Earl of Errol, If he be your good-son.
  11. ‘What need I wash my petticoat And hing it on a pin? For I am as leal a maid yet As yestreen when I lay down.
  12. ‘What need I wash my apron And hing it on the door? It’s baith side and wide enough, Hangs even down before.’
  13. Up spake my lord Carnegie; ‘O Kate, what do ye think? We’ll beguile the Earl of Errol As lang as he’s in drink.’
  14. ‘O what will ye beguile him wi? Or what will ye do than? I’ll swear before a justice-court That he’s no a sufficient man.’
  15. Then Errol he cam down the stair, As bold as oney rae: ‘Go saddle to me my Irish coach, To Edinbro I’ll go.’
  16. When he came to Edinbro, He lighted on the green; There were four-and-twenty maidens A’ dancing in a ring.
  17. There were four-and-twenty maidens A’ dancing in a row; The fatest and the fairest To bed wi him must go.
  18. He’s taen his Peggy by the hand, And he led her thro the green, And twenty times he kissd her there, Before his ain wife’s een.
  19. He’s taen his Peggy by the hand, And he’s led her thro the hall, And twenty times he’s kissd her there, Before his nobles all.
  20. ‘Look up, look up, my Peggy lass, Look up, and think nae shame; Ten hundred pounds I’ll gie to you To bear to me a son.’
  21. He’s keepit his Peggy in his room Three quarter of a year, And just at the nine months’ end She a son to him did bear.
  22. ‘Now if ye be Kate Carnegie, And I Sir Gilbert Hay, I’ll make your father sell his lands Your toucher for to pay.’
  23. ‘To make my father sell his lands, It wad be a great sin, To toucher oney John Sheephead That canna toucher win.’
  24. ‘Now hold your tongue, ye whorish bitch, Sae loud as I hear ye lie! For yonder sits Lord Errol’s son, Upon his mother’s knee; For yonder sits Lord Errol’s son, Altho he’s no by thee.’
  25. ‘You may take hame your daughter Kate, And set her on the glen; For Errol canna please her, Nor nane o Errol’s men; For Errol canna please her, Nor twenty of his men.’
  26. The ranting and the roving, The thing we a’ do ken, The lady lost her right that night, The first night she lay down; And the thing we ca the ranting o ‘t, The lady lies her lane.