The ballad of young John & his true sweetheart (Oliveria Prescott)

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  • (Posted 2023-11-30)  CPDL #77724:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-11-30).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 829 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The ballad of young John & his true sweetheart
Composer: Oliveria Prescott
Lyricist: Anonymous
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: Lowland Scots
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1878 Stanley Lucas, Weber & Co.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

A fair maid sat at her bower-door,
Wringing her lily hands;
And by it came a sprightly youth
Fast tripping o’er the strands.

‘Where gang ye, young John,’ she says,
‘Sae early in the day?
It gars me think, by your fast trip,
Your journey’s far away.’

He turn’d about wi’ an angry look,
And said, ‘What’s that to thee?
I’m gaen’ to see a lovely may
That fairer far than ye.’

‘Now hae you played me this, fause love,
In simmer, mid the flow’rs ?
I sall repay ye back again
In winter, ’mid the show’rs.

‘But again, dear love, and again, dear love,
Will ye not turn again?
For as ye look to ither women
Sall I to ither men.’

‘O make your choice o’ whom you please,
For I my choice will have;
I’ve chosen a fairer may than thee,
I never will deceive.’

She’s kilted up her claithing fine,
And after him gaed she;
But aye he said, ‘Turn back, turn back,
Nae further gang wi’ me!’

‘But again, dear love, and again, dear love,
Will ye never love me again?
Alas for loving you sae weel,
And you nae me again!’

The firstan town that they cam’ till,
His heart it grew mair fain;
And he was as deep in love wi’ her
As she wi’ him again.

The neistan town that they cam’ till,
He bought her wedding-gown;
And made her lady o’ ha’s and bowers,
In bonny Berwick town.