MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
On the Bonny Hills of Scotland
Theresa White NFLD 1 Tape 15A Track 5
Port au Port Audio:
Ballad / woman follows lover to war

On the bonny hills of Scotland where the bluebells they do grow
There lived a farmer's daughter down by the Lowlands Low
She watched her flocks the whole day long down by the banks of Clyde
And all her cottage was pure and low she was called the village pride

A hunter down from Palacetown a-hunting came this way
He hunted thru the lowlands in where Mary's cottage lay
And many a glance he cast upon down by the farm so fair
And wondered how so sweet a flower could bloom and flourish there

Young Harry came to Mary's house his heart was filled with woe
Saying, "Mary my love Mary far from, you I must go
My regiment has been called upon and I received command
To go and leave the lowland glen for India 's burning sand

"Oh Mary dearest Mary this grieves me to the heart
I wish you were my wedded wife this night before we part
So you could come along with me and be my heart's desire
To go and be my wedded wife dressed up in man's attire."

When we arrived in Palacetown the people wondered there
To see so sweet a creature so beautiful and fair
The people all admired her as she stood on the parade
And wondered how a soldier's coat could win so fair a maid

Now it's far across the ocean young Harry he must go
He little knew the danger that he must undergo
Young Harry he fought manfully while Mary did her best
And as she stopped to dress his wounds a bullet pierced her breast

"I fear you're deadly wounded love," young Harry he did say
I see your life blood flowing, your lips are like the clay
The first time ever I saw you it was you that I adored
Though they lift their eyes no more to rise on Indian burning shore."


Notes

Sources: Leach also collected this from John Kehoe of Flatrock (as "The Bonnie Hills of Scotland").

History:

Text notes: A young woman dons men's clothing to follow her lover to war. She takes a bullet as she is dressing his wounds and they are buried together

Tune notes: Mr Kehoe's tune is an aa'ab form, but Theresa White's is abba in a dorian mode (without the 2nd degree of the scale), and in 4/4 metre.

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