Johnie Scott

No: 99; variant: 99B

  1. JOHNNY’S into England gane, Three quarters of a year; Johnny’s into England gane, The king’s banner to bear.
  2. He had na been in England lang, But and a little while, Untill the king’s daughter To Johnny gaes wi child.
  3. Word is to the kitchin gane, And word is to the ha, And word is to the king’s palace, Amang the nobles a’.
  4. Word’s gane to the king’s palace, The palace where she sat, That his ae daughter gaes wi child To Jock, the Little Scot.
  5. ‘If she be wi child,’ he says, ‘As I trow well she be, I’ll put her into strang prison, And hang her till she die.’
  6. But up and spak young Johnny, And O he spake in time: Is there never a bony boy here Will rin my errand soon?
  7. That will gae to yon castle, And look it round about? And there he’ll see a fair lady, The window looking out.
  8. Up then spak a bony boy, And a bony boy was he: I’ll run thy errand, Johnny, he said, Untill the day I die.
  9. ‘Put on your gown o silk, madam, And on your hand a glove, And gang into the good green-wood, To Johnny, your true-love.’
  10. ‘The fetters they are on my feet, And O but they are cauld! My bracelets they are sturdy steel, Instead of beaten gold.
  11. ‘But I will write a lang letter, And seal it tenderlie, And I will send to my true-love, Before that I do die.’
  12. The first look that Johnny lookd, A loud laughter gae he; But the next look that Johnny gae, The tear blinded his ee.
  13. He says, I’ll into England gae, Whatever may betide, And a’ to seek a fair woman That sud hae been my bride.
  14. But up and speaks his father, And O he spak in time: If that ye into England gae, I’m feerd ye neer come hame.
  15. But up then speaks our gude Scotch king, And a brisk young man was he: He’s hae five hunder o my life-guard, To bear him companie.
  16. When Johnny was on saddle set, And seemly for to see, There was not a married man Into his companie.
  17. When Johnny sat on saddle-seat, And seemly to behold, The hair that hang on Johnny’s head Was like the threads o gold.
  18. When he cam to . . . He gard the bells a’ ring, Untill the king and a’ his court Did marvel at the thing.
  19. ‘Is this the brave Argyle,’ he said, ‘That’s landed and come hame? Is this the brave Argyle,’ he said, ‘Or James, our Scottish king?’
  20. ‘It’s no the brave Argyle,’ they said, ‘That’s landed and come hame; But it is a brave young Scottish knight, McNaughtan is his name.’
  21. ‘If McNaughtan be his name,’ he says, ‘As I trow weel it be, The fairest lady in a’ my court Gangs wi child to thee.’
  22. ‘If that she be wi child,’ he says, ‘As I wat weel she be, I’ll mak it lord o a’ my land, And her my gay lady.’
  23. ‘I have a champion in my court Will fight you a’ by three;’ But up then speaks a brisk young man, And a brisk young man was he: I will fight to my life’s end, Before poor Johnny die.
  24. The king but and his nobles a’ Went out into the plain, The queen but and her maidens a’, To see young Johnny slain.
  25. The first wound that Johnny gae the champion Was a deep wound and sair; The next wound that he gae the champion, He never spak mair.
  26. ‘A priest, a priest,’ young Johnny cries, ‘To wed me and my love;’ ‘A clerk, a clerk,’ the king he cried, ‘To sign her tocher gude.’
  27. ‘I’ll hae nane o your goud,’ he says, ‘I’ll hae nane o your gear, But a’ I want is my true-love, For I hae bought her dear.’
  28. He took out a little goat-horn, And blew baith loud and shill; The victry’s into Scotland gane, Tho sair against their will.