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My Laddie's Bedside

[ Roud 5530 ; G/D 6:1136 ; Ballad Index Ord179 ; trad.]

Heather Heywood sang Bonnie Laddie Ye Gang By Me at the Kinross Festival on 7-9 September 1973. This recording was issued in the same year on the festival anthology Scots Song and Music.

Duncan Williamson from Fife sang The Trees They Are High in a Mike Yates recording on the 2002 Kyloe anthology Travellers' Tales Volume 2.

Ray Fisher sang My Laddie's Bedside in 1991 on her Saydisc CD Traditional Songs of Scotland. She noted:

Here we have a conversation, a song, between a young lady and a young man. The lady sets the scene by informing us that she is about to go to her young man's bedside and declare her affection for him. The young man spurns her, saying that he has already chosen another love. She accepts his rejection and somewhat philosophically asks him to treat her kindly, nevertheless. The young man then admits that he was only testing to see whether she really loved him or not and the things he said were only ‘in jest’ The young lady counters this by saying that she was not jesting and bids him goodbye in the last two verses.
Taken from the singing of Duncan Williamson, the renowned story-teller.

Malinky sang Begone Bonnie Laddie in 2019 on their 20th anniversary album Handsel. They noted:

Fiona [Hunter] brought this to the band from the singing of the late Ray Fisher, who sang it as My Laddie's Bedside. Ray herself had it from the singing of the master Traveller storyteller, Duncan Williamson. Convinced it was a fragment of a longer song, Steve [Byrne] found other versions and compiled additional text from the Glenbuchat manuscript (collected sometime before 1818) as well as the Greig-Duncan Folksong Collection, Ord's Bothy Songs and Ballads and Dean Christie’s Traditional Ballad Airs.


Ray Fisher sings My Laddie's Bedside

O it's I am awa tae my laddie's bedside,
I am awa' for tae be my laddie's guide.
I am awa' tae be my laddie's bedside,
Though his faither and mither be angry.

“O, at my bedside, my lassie, ye'll no sit,
At my bedside, my lassie, ye'll no sit.
For I hae choos'd a guide, and a far better fit,
So begone, lassie, wha' cares for ye?”

“Well ye might have courted one, my love, ye might have courted seven,
Ye might have courted eight, nine, ten and eleven.
Ye can go and court anither, that'll mak' up the dozen,
But be kind taer yer auld love for a' that.”

“O come back, my bonnie lassie, dinna gang awa',
O come back, my bonnie lassie, dinna gang awa',
O come back, my bonnie lassie, dinna gang awa',
I was only in a jest for tae try ye.”

“Well if you were in a jest, my laddie, I wis in nane.
So lang, lang, my bonnie laddie, may ye lie yer lane,
O lang, lang, my bonnie laddie, may ye lie yer lane
And think upon the bonnie lass that lo'ed ye.

“For the trees they are high, my love, the leaves they are green,
The years are passing by, my love, that you and I hae seen.
Thru' the lang winter's nicht when ye have tae lie yer lane,
Ach! Ye'll weary lang before I'll come and yee se.”