Johnie Scott

No: 99; variant: 99I

  1. JOHNIE is up to London gane, Three quarters o the year, And he is up to London gane, The king’s banner for to bear.
  2. He had na been in fair London A twalmonth and a day, Till the king’s ae daughter To Johnie gangs wi child.
  3. O word is to the kitchen gane, And word is to the ha, And word is to the king himsel Amang his nobles a’.
  4. She has wrote a braid letter, She has wrote it tenderly, And she’s wrote a braid letter, To lat her Johnie see
  5. That her bower is very high, It’s aw weel walled about; Her feet are in the fetters strang, Her body looking out.
  6. Her garters are of cauld iron, And they are very cold; Her breist-plate is o the sturdy steel, Instead o the beaten gold.
  7. Whan he lookit the letter on, A licht lauch gaed he; But eer he read it til an end, The tear blindit his ee.
  8. ‘I maun up to London gang, Whatever me betide, And louse that lady out o prison strang; She lay last by my side.’
  9. Up spak Johnie’s ae best man, That stood by Johnie’s knie: Ye’ll get twenty four o my best men, To bear ye companie.
  10. When Johnie was in his saddle set, A pleasant sicht to see, There was na ae married man In Johnie’s companie.
  11. The first toun that he cam till, He made the mass be sung; The niest toun that he cam till, He made the bells be rung.
  12. When he cam to fair London, He made the drums gae round; The king and his nobles aw They marvelld at the sound.
  13. ‘Is this the Duke of Winesberry, For James, the Scotish king; Or is it a young gentleman, That wants for to be in?’
  14. ‘It’s na the Duke of Winesberry, Nor James, the Scotish king; But it is a young gentleman, Buneftan is his name.’
  15. Up spak the king himsel, An angry man was he: The morn eer I eat or drink Hie hangit sall he be.
  16. Up spak Johnie’s ae best man, That stood by Johnie’s knie: Afore our master he be slain We’ll aw fecht till we die.
  17. Up spak the king himsel, And up spak he: I have an Italian in my court That will fecht ye manifullie.
  18. ‘If ye hae an Italian in your court, Fu fain wad I him see; If ye hae an Italian in your court, Ye may bring him here to me.’
  19. The king and his nobles aw Went tripping doun the plain, Wi the queen and her maries aw, To see fair Johnie slain.
  20. Even anent the prison-door The battle did begin; . . . . . . . .
  21. They foucht up, and they foucht doun, Wi swerds o tempered steel, Til Johnie wi his gude braidswerd Made the Italian for to yield.
  22. He has kickd him with his foot, And he has kickd him oure the plain: ‘Onie mair Italians in your court Ye want for to be slain?’
  23. ‘A clerk, a clerk,’ the king cried, ‘To sign her tocher-fee;’ ‘A priest, a priest,’ young Johnie said, ‘To marry her and me.
  24. ‘For I want nane o your gowd, Nor nane o your weel won fee; I only want your fair dochter, I have won her mannfullie.’