Roy’s wife (George Short)

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  • (Posted 2023-12-07)  CPDL #77933:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-12-07).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 675 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Roy’s wife
Composer: George Short
Lyricist: Elizabeth Grant
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsongFolksong

Language: Lowland Scots
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1913 Strathearn

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

      Roy’s wife of Aldivalloch,
      Roy’s wife of Aldivalloch,
      Wat ye how she cheated me,
      As I cam’ o’er the braes of Balloch?

She vow’d, she swore she wad be mine;
She said she lo’ed me best o’ onie;
But ah! the fickle, faithless quean,
She’s ta’en the carle, and left her Johnnie!

O, she was a cantie quean,
Weel could she dance the Highland walloch,
How happy I, had she been mine,
Or I been Roy of Aldivalloch.

Her hair sae fair, her een sae clear,
Her wee bit mou’ sae sweet and bonnie;
To me she ever will be dear,
Though she’s for ever left her Johnnie.

Elizabeth Grant of Carron (1745-1814), near Elchies, on the river Spey.
[Sometimes erroneously ascribed to Mrs. Grant of Laggan.]
In a letter dated 1793, Burns wrote that he had original words for Roy’s Wife by “the lady who composed it.”