Came Ye O'er Frae France

Melody -

Came ye o'er frae France?
Came ye down by Lunnon?
Saw ye Geordie Whelps,
And his bonny woman?
Were ye at the place
Ca'd the Kittle Housie?
Saw ye Geordie's grace
Riding on a goosie?

Geordie he's a man,
There is little doubt o't,
He's done a' he can,
Wha' can do without it?
Down there came a blad,
Linkin like my lordie;
He wad drive a trade
At the loom o' Geordie.
  Though the claith were bad,
Blithely may we niffer;
Gin we get a wab,
It makes little differ.
We hae tint our plaid,
Bonnet, belt and swordie,
Ha's and mailins braid -
But we hae a Geordie!

Jocky's gane to France,
And Montgomery's lady;
There they'll learn to dance:
Madam, are you ready?
They'll be back belyve,
Belted, brisk and lordly;
Brawly may they thrive
To dance a jig wi' Geordie!

Hey for Sandy Don!
Hey for Cockolorum!
Hey for Bobbing John,
And his Highland quorum!
Mony a sword and lance
Swings at Highland hurdie;
How they'll skip and dance
Over the bum o' Geordie!

When King George I imported his seraglio of impoverished gentlewomen from Germany, he provided the Jacobite song-writers with material for some of their most ribald verses. Madam Kilmansegge, Countess of Platen, is referred to exclusively as 'The Sow', while his favourite mistress, the lean and haggard Madame Schulenberg, afterwards created Duchess of Kendal, was given the name of 'The Goose'; she is the 'goosie' referred to in this song. The 'blad' mentioned in the second stanza is the Count Königsmark. 'Bobbing John' is a reference to John, Earl of Mar, who, at the time this song was made, was recruiting highlanders for the Hanoverian cause. 'Geordie Whelps' is, of course, George I.

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