The Gypsie Laddie

Melody -

There were three gypsies a' in a row,
And O but they were bonnie O;
They sang so sweet and so complete
That they charmed the heart o' a lady O.

The lady she cam' doon the stair,
And her twa maidens cam' wi' her O;
But when they spied her weel-faured face,
They cast their comprolls o'er her O.

They've gi'en to her the nutmeg fine,
And they've gi'en to her the ginger O;
But she's gi'en to them a far better thing,
The gold ring aff her finger O.

"It's ye'll cast aff your silken goon,
And put on this tartan plaidie O;
And ye'll come awa' this lee-lang nicht
And follow the gypsie laddie O."
  Lord Castles he cam' hame at e'en,
Enquiring for his lady O;
"The hounds is run and the hawk is flown,
And the gypsy's awa' wi' your lady O."

"Come saddle to me the black, the black.
Mak' haste and soon be ready O,
For it's meat and drink I winna taste,
Till I get back my lady O."

They've rode east and they've rode west,
Till them cam' to yonder boggie O;
And there they spied the weel-faured maid,
Wi' the gypsies a' standin' roond her O.

"Will ye gang wi' me, my honey and my heart,
Will ye gang wi' me, my lady O'!
And I swear by the sword that hangs by my side,
The black band shall never steal thee O."

"I winna come wi' you, my honey and my heart,
I winna come wi' you, my dearie O;
Till I hae drunk the breest I brewed,
And that's in the water o' Eerie O."

Tradition has it that towards the end of the 17th century, the wife of the Earl of Cassilis eloped with Sir John Faa who had disguised himself as a gypsy. Apart from the fact that Cassilis is the name given to the wronged husband in many Scots and English versions of the ballad, there is little evidence to suggest that the story has any historical basis.

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