The Earl of Errol

No: 231; variant: 231C

  1. ERROLL it’s a bonny placd, It stands upon a plain; A bad report this ladie’s raisd, That Erroll is nae a man.
  2. But it fell ance upon a day Lord Erroll went frae hame, And he is on to the hunting gane, Single man alane.
  3. But he hadna been frae the town A mile but barely twa, Till his lady is on to Edinburgh, To gain him at the law.
  4. O Erroll he kent little o that Till he sat down to dine, And as he was at dinner set His servant loot him ken.
  5. ‘Now saddle to me the black, the black, Go saddle to me the brown, And I will on to Edinburgh, Her errands there to ken.’
  6. She wasna well thro Aberdeen, Nor passd the well o Spa, Till Erroll he was after her, The verity to shaw.
  7. She wasna well in edinburgh, Nor even thro the town, Till Erroll he was after her, Her errands there to ken.
  8. When he came to the court-house, And lighted on the green, This lord was there in time enough To hear her thus compleen:
  9. ‘What needs me wash my apron, Or drie ‘t upon a door? What needs I eek my petticoat, Hings even down afore?
  10. ‘What needs me wash my apron, Or hing it upon a pin? For lang will gang but and ben Or I hear my young son’s din.’
  11. ‘They ca you Kate Carnegie,’ he says, ‘And my name’s Gilbert Hay; I’ll gar your father sell his land, Your tocher down to pay.’
  12. ‘To gar my father sell his land For that would be a sin, To such a noughtless heir as you, That canno get a son.’
  13. Then out it speaks him Lord Brechen, The best an lord ava; ‘I never saw a lady come Wi sic matters to the law.’
  14. Then out it speaks another lord, The best in a’ the town; ‘Ye’ll wyle out fifeteen maidens bright Before Lord Erroll come:’ And he has chosen a tapster lass, And Meggie was her name.
  15. They kept up this fair maiden Three quarters of a year, And then at that three quarters’ end A young son she did bear.
  16. They hae gien to Meggie then Five ploughs but and a mill, And they hae gien her five hundred pounds, For to bring up her chill.
  17. There was no lord in Edinburgh But to Meggie gae a ring; And there was na a boy in a’ the town But on Katie had a sang.
  18. ‘Kinnaird, take hame your daughter, And set her to the glen, For Erroll canna pleasure her, Nor nane o Erroll’s men.’
  19. Seven years on Erroll’s table There stand clean dish and speen, And every day the bell is rung, Cries, Lady, come and dine.