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Twine Weel the Plaiden / The Silken Snood

[ Roud 8522 ; Mudcat 77658 ; trad.]

David Herd printed Twine Weel the Plaiden in the appendix of Volume 2 of his 1776 book Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc..

Aileen Carr sang Silken Snood in 2000 on her Greentrax CD Green Yarrow. She noted:

This appears as Twine Weel the Plaiden, song number 31 in the first (1787) volume of James Johnson’s compilation The Scots Musical Museum (i.e. before Robert Burns became fully involved in that ground-breaking enterprise), with no known author. The theme, alas, is as old as history. The snood: a ribbon bound round the brow and tied at the back under the hair, was the status symbol of a young unmarried woman. ‘Twine’ is here used in its old sense of ‘part’ or ‘separate’, as is ‘to pree’—to try by tasting.

Maureen Jelks sang Silken Snood in 2000 on her Tradition Bearers CD of Scots songs and ballads, Eence Upon a Time. She noted:

I heard this wee song from Aileen Carr. It is from Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum, song No. 31, under the title Twine Weel the Plaiden. A silken snood was a hair covering that young women wore to show that they were still virgins. This young lady is lamenting the fact that she has lost hers. If snoods were fashionable today, I doubt very much you would see many being worn!

Salt House released Twine Weel the Plaiden as a download single in 2019.


Salt House sing Twine Weel the Plaiden

Oh! I hae lost my silken snood
That tied my hair sae yellow;
I’ve gien my hert tae the lad I looed.
He was a gallant fellow.

Chorus (after each verse):
And twine it weel, my bonny doo,
And twine it weel, the plaiden;
The lassie lost her silken snood
In pullin’ o the bracken.

He praised my een sae bonny blue,
Sae lily white my skin O,
And syne he pree’d my bonny mou
And swore it was nae sin O.

But he has left the lass he looed,
His own true love forsaken,
Which gars me sair tae greet the snood
I lost amongs the bracken.


See also Sangstories’ page on The Silken Snood.