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Bonnie Jeanie Cameron

[ Roud 13082 ; Ballad Index FVS221 ; trad.]

Robert Ford printed Bonnie Jeanie Cameron in his 1901 book Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland Volume 2.

John McCormick sang Bonnie Jean Cameron on his 1998 album Between Our Hearts. He noted:

I learned Bonnie Jean Cameron from Jamie McMenemy, a singer from Glasgow who now resides in Brittany. He credits Alan McFadyen for the tune, with words adapted from Ancient Scots Ballads, a collection by George Eyre-Todd. Jean Cameron was a supporter of the Jacobites, and in this song was in love with Prince Charles, The Young Pretender.

Lyrics

Bonnie Jeanie Cameron in Ford

You'll a' ha'e heard tell o' bonnie Jeanie Cameron,
How she fell sick, and she was like to dee;
And a' that they could recommend der
Was a'e blythe blink o' the Young Pretender:
    Rare, O rare, bonnie Jeanie Cameron!
    Rare, O rare, Jeanie Cameron!

The doctor was sent for, to see if he could cure her;
Quickly he came—he made no delay;
But a' that he could recommend her
Was a'e blythe blink o' the Young Pretender:
    Rare, O rare, bonnie Jeanie Cameron!
    Rare, O rare, Jeanie Cameron!

To Charlie she wrote a very long letter,
Stating who were his friends and who were his foes;
And a' her words were sweet and tender,
To win the heart o' the Young Pretender:
    Rare, O rare, bonnie Jeanie Cameron!
    Rare, O rare, Jeanie Cameron!

O, scarcely had she sealed the letter wi' a ring,
When up flew the door and in came her king;
She prayed to the saints—bade angels defend her
And sank in the arms o' the Young Pretender:
    Rare, O rare, bonnie Jeanie Cameron!
    Rare, O rare, Jeanie Cameron!