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The Bonnie Wee Trampin Lass

[ Roud 5129 ; G/D 8:1917 ; Ballad Index RcBWTrLa ; trad.]

Willie Scott [1897-1989] sang The Bonnie Wee Trampin Lass on 3 November 1967 in Bill Leader's home in Camden Town, London. This recording was released in the following year on Scott's Topic album The Shepherd's Song, and it was also included in 1998 on the Topic anthology of songs of love and amorous encounters, Who's That at My Bed Window? (The Voice of the People Volume 10). Maurice Lindsay commented in Scott's album's sleeve notes:

A song which Willie's wife used to sing when she was a girl. A simple story of happy love, it tells how the singer met his girl, who was working for ten shillings a week at a mill, and how they “stood there bletherin' for a while, about the thing called luve”. Married, they were “happy as happy can be” so that the singer now has:

Two bonnie bairnies by my side
And a third yinon my knee.”


Willie Scott sings The Bonnie Wee Trampin Lass

As I gaed oot yin Saturday nicht for tae hae a wee bit stroll,
Ne'er thinking how the time was flyin till A gaed by the toll;
A hadna far gane by the toll the Carters mill to pass,
When what dae ye think A chanced to meed but a bonnie wee trampin lass?

Chorus (after each verse):
Oh whaur are ye gaun, oh gie me yer haun, and hoo are ye daein?” says I,
“Haud up yer heid, me bonnie wee lass, and dinna look sae shy;
Oh whaur dae ye bide, and whaur dae ye stay? Come tell to me yer name.
And wud yer faither wad be angry if A wis to sae ye hame”

She said she wis working doon in yon Carters mill,
Winding banks o yarn ye ken, she liked it awfu weel;
She only had ten bob a week, she handna been on fu time.
Says I, “Me lass, take care of that, for you'll very soon me mine.”

We stood there bletherin for a while, aboot that thing caud love,
Ne'er thinking how the time was flying till the skies grew dark above;
She drew her shawl aroon her heid and to me she did exclaim,
“I say young man, it's getting late and time that we were hame.”

But now since we've got mairried, we're as happy as can be,
Twa bonnie bairnies by me side, and a third yin on me knee;
When e'er we gan oot for a stroll the Carters mill tae pass,
A think o the happy times A've hed, since A met wi the trampin lass.

Acknowledgements and Links

I copied the lyrics from Alison McMorland's Willie Scott book Herd Laddie o' the Glen.