Popular Ballads of the Olden Time

The following is from Popular Ballads of the Olden Time: Third Series - Ballads of Scottish Tradition and Romance Selected and Edited by Frank Sidgwick:

Lizie Lindsay

The Text is from Kinloch's MSS. He obtained it from Mearnsshire, and remarks that according to the tradition of that district the heroine was said to have been a daughter of Lindsay of Edzell, though he had searched in vain for genealogical confirmation of the tradition.

The Story--'Ballads of this description,' says Professor Child, 'are peculiarly liable to interpolation and debasement.' In this version the most offending stanza is the tenth; and the extra two lines in stt. 22 and 24 also appear to be unnecessary. The anapaestic metre of this version should be noted.

The ballad was and is a great favourite with singers, and the tune may be found in several of the collections of Scottish songs.

It's of a young lord o' the Hielands,
  A bonnie braw castle had he,
And he says to his lady mither,
  'My boon ye will grant to me:
Sall I gae to Edinbruch city,
  And fesh hame a lady wi' me?'

'Ye may gae to Edinbruch city,
  And fesh hame a lady wi' thee,
But see that ye bring her but flatt'rie,
  And court her in grit povertie.'

'My coat, mither, sall be o' the plaiden,
  A tartan kilt oure my knee,
Wi' hosens and brogues and the bonnet;
  I'll court her wi' nae flatt'rie.'

Whan he cam to Edinbruch city,
  He play'd at the ring and the ba',
And saw monie a bonnie young ladie,
  But Lizie Lindsay was first o' them a'.

Syne, dress'd in his Hieland grey plaiden,
  His bonnet abune his e'e-bree,
He called on fair Lizie Lindsay;
  Says, 'Lizie, will ye fancy me?

'And gae to the Hielands, my lassie,
  And gae, gae wi' me?
O gae to the Hielands, Lizie Lindsay,
  I'll feed ye on curds and green whey.

'And ye'se get a bed o' green bracken;
  My plaidie will hap thee and me;
Ye'se lie in my arms, bonnie Lizie,
  If ye'll gae to the Hielands wi' me.'

'O how can I gae to the Hielands
  Or how can I gae wi' thee,
Whan I dinna ken whare I'm gaing,
  Nor wha I hae to gae wi'?'

'My father, he is an auld shepherd,
  My mither, she is an auld dey;                      ['dey,' dairy-woman]
My name it is Donald Macdonald,
  My name I'll never deny.'

'O Donald, I'll gie ye five guineas
  To sit ae hour in my room,
Till I tak aff your ruddy picture;
  Whan I hae 't, I'll never think lang.'

'I dinna care for your five guineas;
  It's ye that's the jewel to me;
I've plenty o' kye in the Hielands,
  To feed ye wi' curds and green whey.

'And ye'se get a bonnie blue plaidie,
  Wi' red and green strips thro' it a';
And I'll be the lord o' your dwalling,
  And that's the best picture ava'.

'And I am laird o' a' my possessions;
  The king canna boast o' na mair;
And ye'se hae my true heart in keeping,
  There'll be na ither e'en hae a share.

'Sae gae to the Hielands, my lassie,
  O gae awa' happy wi' me;
O gae to the Hielands, Lizie Lindsay.
  And hird the wee lammies wi' me.'

'O how can I gae wi' a stranger,
  Oure hills and oure glens frae my hame?'
'I tell ye I am Donald Macdonald;
  I'll ever be proud o' my name.'

Doun cam Lizie Lindsay's ain father,
  A knicht o' a noble degree;
Says, 'If ye do steal my dear daughter,
  It's hangit ye quickly sall be.'

On his heel he turn'd round wi' a bouncie,
  And a licht lauch he did gie;
'There's nae law in Edinbruch city
  This day that can dare to hang me.'

Then up bespak Lizie's best woman,
  And a bonnie young lass was she;
'Had I but a mark in my pouchie,
  It's Donald that I wad gae wi'.'

'O Helen, wad ye leave your coffer,
  And a' your silk kirtles sae braw,
And gang wi' a bare-hough'd puir laddie,      ['bare-hough'd,' with bare thighs]
  And leave father, mither, and a'?

'But I think he's a witch or a warlock,            ['warlock,' wizard]
  Or something o' that fell degree,
For I'll gae awa' wi' young Donald,
  Whatever my fortune may be.'

Then Lizie laid doun her silk mantle,
  And put on her waiting-maid's goun,
And aff and awa' to the Hielands
  She's gane wi' this young shepherd loun.

Thro' glens and oure mountains they wander'd,
  Till Lizie had scantlie a shoe;
'Alas and ohone!' says fair Lizie,
  'Sad was the first day I saw you!
I wish I war in Edinbruch city;
  Fu' sair, sair this pastime I rue.'

'O haud your tongue now, bonnie Lizie,
  For yonder's the shieling, my hame, ['shieling,' hut]
And there's my guid auld honest mither,
  That's coming to meet ye her lane.'

'O ye're welcome, ye're welcome, Sir Donald,
  Ye're welcome hame to your ain.'
'O ca' me na young Sir Donald,
  But ca' me Donald my son.'
And this they hae spoken in Erse,
  That Lizie micht not understand.

The day being weetie and daggie,                  ['daggie,' drizzling]
  They lay till 'twas lang o' the day.
'Win up, win up, bonnie Lizie,
  And help at the milking the kye.'

O slowly raise up Lizie Lindsay,
  The saut tear blindit her e'e.
'O war I in Edinbruch city,
  The Hielands shoud never see me!'

He led her up to a hie mountain,
  And bade her look out far and wide.
'I'm lord o' thae isles and thae mountains,
  And ye're now my beautiful bride.

'Sae rue na ye've come to the Hielands,
  Sae rue na ye've come aff wi' me,
For ye're great Macdonald's braw lady,
  And will be to the day that ye dee.'

The Gardener

Copyright Scotland from the Roadside 2016