Johnie Scott

No: 99; variant: 99F

  1. WORD has to the kitchen gane, And word is to the ha, And word has to the king himsell, In the chamber where he sat, That his ae daughter gaes wi bairn To bonnie Johnie Scot.
  2. Word has to the kitchen gane, And word has to the ha, And word has to the queen hersell, In the chamber where she sat, That her ae dochter gaes wi bairn To bonnie Johnie Scot.
  3. ‘O if she be wi bairn,’ he says, ‘As I trew well she be, We’ll put her in a prison strang, And try her verity.’
  4. ‘O if she be wi bairn,’ she says, ‘As I trew weel she be, We’ll put her in a dungeon dark, And hunger her till she die.’
  5. Now she has written a letter, And sealed it with her hand, And sent it unto Johnie Scot, To come at her command.
  6. The first lang line that he looked to, He laughed at the same; The neist lang line that he did read, The tears did blin his een.
  7. ‘Once more to England I must go, May God be my sure guide! And all to see that lady fair That last lay by my side.’
  8. Then out bespoke our Scotish king, And he spoke manfullie: I and three thousand of my guards Will bear you companye.
  9. They all were mounted on horseback, So gallantly they rode; The hair that hung owre Johnie’s shoulders Was like the links of goud.
  10. When they came to the king of England’s gate, They knocked at the pin; So ready was the king himsell To open and let them in.
  11. ‘Are you the Duke [of York],’ he says, ‘Or are ye the King of Spain? Or are ye some of the gay Scots boys, From hunting now come hame?’
  12. ‘I am not the Duke of York,’ he says, ‘Nor yet the King of Spain; But I am one of the gay Scots boys, From hunting just come hame.’
  13. ‘If you are one of the Scots boys, As I trew weel you be, The fairest lady in my hall Gaes big wi child to thee.’
  14. ‘Then if she be wi bairn,’ he says, ‘As I trew weel she be, I’ll make him heir of a’ my gear, And her my fair ladye.’
  15. ‘If she be wi bairn,’ her father says, ‘As I trew weel she be, Before the morn at ten o’clock High hanged thou shall be.’
  16. Then out bespake our Scotish king, And he spoke manfullie: Before that Johnie Scott be slain, We’ll all fight till we die.
  17. ‘I have a Talliant in my house We’ll fight your men by three;’ ‘Bring out your trooper,’ Johnie says, ‘For fain I would him see.’
  18. Some gade unto the high mountain, Some gade unto the plain, Some at high windows looked out, To see poor Johnie slain.
  19. The Talliant he fought on a while, Thinking of Johnie would retire, And then he, like a swallow swifte, Owre Johnie’s head did flee.
  20. But Johnie was a clever man, And turned about with speed, And on the edge of his broadsword He slew the Talliant dead.
  21. Then he has brought the lady out, And sat her on a dapple-gray, And being mounted on before, They briskly rode away.
  22. Now the honour unto Scotland came, In spite of England’s skill; The honour unto Scotland came In spite of England’s will.