Waly Waly

Melody -

O, waly, waly up the bank,
And waly, waly down the brae,
And waly, waly yon burn-side,
Where I and my love wont to gae!
I leaned my back unto an aik,
And thocht it was a trusty tree,
But first it bow'd and syne it brak:
Sae my true love did lichtlie me.

O waly, waly but love be bonnie
A little time while it is new,
But when it's auld it waxes cauld
And fades away like morning dew,
O, wherefore should I busk my heid,
Or wherefore should I kame my hair?
For my true-love has me forsook,
And says he'll never love me mair.
  Now Arthur's seat shall be my bed,
The sheets shall ne'er be pressed by me,
St. Anton's Well shall be my drink,
Since my true-love has forsaken me.
Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw,
And shake the green leaves aff the tree?
O gentle death when wilt thou come?
For of my life I am wearie.

'Tis not the frost that freezes fell,
Nor blawing snaw's inclemencie;
'Tis not sic cauld that mak's me cry,
But my love's heart's grown cauld to me.
When we came in by Glasgow toun,
We were a comely sicht to see;
My love was clad in the black velvet,
And I mysel' in cramasie.

But had I wist before I kiss't
That love had been sae ill to win,
I'd lock'd my heart in a case of gold,
And pinn'd it wi' a siller pin.
Oh, oh, if my young babe were born,
And set upon the nurse's knee,
And I mysel' were dead and gone,
And the green grass growin' ower me!

The unfortunate heroine of this song is said to have been Lady Barbara Erskine, daughter of the 9th Earl of Mar, who was deserted by her husband, James, Marquis of Douglas in the reign of Charles II. The song is a stock from which many branches have been born, the most fomiliar being the burlesque 'There is a Tavern in the Town'.

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