MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

The Bonnie Hills o’ Scotland

Mrs. Ghaney NFLD 2 Tape 15 Track 2
Fermeuse Audio:

It was down in Bonnie Scotland where bluebells they do grow
There lived a lovely maiden fair down by the lowlands low
'Twas all day long she watched her flocks down by the banks of Clyde
And although her lot in life was low she was called the village bride

An officer from Peasel town rode out for flour (?) one day
And carelessly he wandered down where Mary' s cottage lay
And on one loving eye he bent on Mary's form so fair
To think that such a lovely flower could bloom and cherish [sic] there

Oh many a time he came that way and each a visit paid
At length his flatt'ring tongue had gained the heart of this young maid
But soon a day of trial came to Mary he did go
Saying Mary ever dearest it’s from you l must part

Our rege'ment have received a rout and ____ was forced to yield
We must exchange this sunny climate go to a mowing field
Oh Henry dearest Henry how can we ever part
Take me as your beloved wife you know you’ve won my heart

There's nothing more would please me or be my chief desire
For me to go along wit' you dressed up in man's attire
He took her down to Peasel town she much did wonder there
The soft brown coat that Mary wore so gentle and so fair

The ladies all admired her as she stood in the parade
And who would think a soldier's coat concealed a village maid
But soon a day of trial come marched to the royal stand
There's no one knows what Mary bore out in that trackless land

And when she felt her strength give way she strove her feelings to hide
And smiling looking around her she sees Henry by her side
Now those young couple loved in life they loves in death the same
And now their woundly blood runs mixed in one great running stream


Text: A solider falls in love with Mary, the village maid. When his regiment is called away she dresses as a soldier and follows him. They are killed together on the battlefield.

Tune: The text is through composed and the melody repeats with each verse. The last word is spoken. Speaking, instead of singing a final word or phrase is generally thought to indicate Irish influence on the singer or song. The meter is 4/4. The key is A-flat major with an octave range based on A-flat.

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