Bonny May

Bonny May

Bonny May to the ewe buchts is gane
To milk her Daddie’s yowes
And aye as she sang her bonny voice it rang
Out o’er the taps o’ the knowes, knowes
Out o’er the taps o’ the knowes

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A troop of noble gentlemen
Came riding merrily by, by
Came riding merrily by

He took her by the middle sae sma’
And by the green gown sleeve
And he’s laid her down on the dewy, dewy ground
And he’s asked no man’s leave, leave
And he’s asked no man’s leave

He’s mounted on his milk white steed
And he’s rode after his men
And all that his merry men said to him
Was, Dear master, ye’ve tarried lang, lang
Dear master, ye’ve tarried long

I have ridden east and I have ridden west
And I’ve ridden among the knowes
But the bonniest lass that e’er I saw
Was milking her Daddie’s yowes, yowes
Was milking her Daddie’s yowes

She’s ta’en the milk pail on her head
And she’s gane singing hame
And all the her father said to her
Was, Dear daughter, ye’ve tarried lang, lang
Dear daughter, ye’ve tarried lang

O there can a tod amang my yowes
An’ a waefu’ tod was he
Afore he had taen my wee yowe-lamb
I wad rather he had taen ither three, three
I wad rather he had taen ither three


It happened on a day, and a bony summer day
As she was ca’in’ in her father’s kye
The same troop o’ noble gentlemen
Came riding merrily by, by
Came riding merrily by

One of them calls out
Lassie, have ye got a man?
She turned her head right saucy about
Saying I’ve got ane at hame, hame
Saying I’ve got ane at hame

Hold your tongue, my bonnie lass
How loud I hear ye lee
Do you no’ remember the caul mirky nicht
When ye were in the yowe buchts wi’ me, me
When ye were in the yowe buchts wi’ me

He’s ordered one of his merry men
To licht and set her on behind him
Saying, your father may ca’ in his kye when he likes
For they’ll ne’er be ca’ed by thee, thee
For they’ll ne’er be ca’ed by thee

For I am the laird o’ the Ochiltree walls
I have fifty ploughs and three
And I have got the bonniest lass
In a’ the north countrie, trie
In a’ the north countrie


Collected from Mary Cochrane, Abbey Yard, Crossmichael, 12/8/1893

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