Johnny Lad

Melody -

I bought a wife in Edinburgh
For ae bawbee,
I got a farthing back again
To buy tobacco wi'.
And wi' you, and wi' you,
And wi' you, Johnny lad,
I'll drink the buckles o' my sheen,
Wi' you, my Johnny lad.

When auld King Arthur ruled this land,
He was a thievin' king,
He stole twa bows a' barley-meal
To mak' a white pudding.

The pudding it was awfu' guid,
'Twas weel mixed up wi' plooms,
The lumps o' suet into it
Were big as baith my thooms.

Samson was a michty man
And he focht wi' cuddies' jaws,
And he focht a score o' battles
Wearin' crimson flannel drawers.
  There was a man in Nineveh
And he was wondrous wise;
He lowped into a hawthorn-hedge
And scratched oat baith his eyes.

And when he saw his e'en were oot,
He was gey troubled then;
He lowped into another hedge
And scratched them in again.

Napoleon was an emperor,
He ruled by land and sea,
He was king of France and Germany
But he never rirled Polmadie.

One Sunday I went walking
And there I saw the queen,
Playing at the fitba'
With the lads on Glesca Green.

The captain o' the other side
Was scoring wi' great style,
So the queen she ca'd a polisman
And stuck him in the jail.

Johnny is a bonnie lad,
He is a lad o' rnine,
I never had a better lad
And I've had twenty-nine.

Originally a song of rural courtship in the tempo of a slow (minor) strathspey, 'Johnny Lad' moved to Glasgow during the late 19th century and was transformed into a childrens' street song. As the lyric became urbanized, the original air was abandoned in favour of this catchy but much less handsome tune.

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