> Folk Music > Songs > Twa Years Ower Young / Between Twa Hills

Twa Years Ower Young / Between Twa Hills

[ Roud 380 ; G/D 6:1187 ; Ballad Index Ord170 ; trad.]

John Ord: Seven Years O’er Young Bothy Songs and Ballads

Alison McMorland sang Twa Years Ower Young in 2000 on her Tradition Bearers album Cloudberry Day. Geordie McIntyre noted:

“With typical generosity”, to quote Alison, the late Pat Shuldham-Shaw sent her mss. versions of this remarkable song. This was in the early seventies. From these, given the close similarity of at least two of the best texts, she selected her own way of it, being attracted, initially, to theme and story as well as its handsome tune. She had never heard it sung.

Pat Shuldham-Shaw was one of the principal editors of the outstanding Greig-Duncan Collection. There are four versions there in (Volume 6 No 1187). In his notes to the song Gavin Greig writes: “… this is quite evidently an old song and is altogether one of the most stridently original things that the tradition has preserved.”

Amy Leach sang Between Twa Hills on her and guitarist Alasdair Paul’s 2024 EP Six Sangs. She noted:

From the singing of Dr Sheila Douglas—one of many songs we’ve found digging through archive recordings. Dr Douglas herself found the lyrics and melody from Gavin Greig’s manuscripts, which is also one of our favourite resources.


Amy Leach sings Between Twa Hills

Between twa hills where me and my love,
Me and my bonnie love met sae rare.
There’s nane in the world sall ever know it
What my bonnie love said tae me there.

He fixed his eyes on me sae rarely,
Aye and sae lovely as he moved his tongue,
“Bonnie lassie, will ye marry me?”
The answer was, “I’m twa years ower young.”

“Well, if ye be twa years ower young, love,
Your age and my age can never agree.”
Aye and sae lovely as she said untae him,—
“When will ye come to my bower and see?”

It’s when they were in her chamber together,
Talking about some simple thing,
Aye and sae lovely as she said untae him,
“When will ye wed me wi a ring?”

“Well, I cannae wed ye wi a ring, love.
Or some brisker bride would on me frown;
But I’ll sing the song that ye used to sing afore, love,
Ye shound sing that ye are twa years ower young.”

“O, I cannae sing what I used tae sing afore, love.
For daily and hourly will I rue;
I’ll sing the sang that I never sang afore, love,
I will sing that I am beguiled by ye.”

O, pull not the thistle when it is het, love,
Doon in the meadow where it grows;
Loo’e nae the laddie that she loo’e before, love,
For the bands o love are ill tae lowse.