MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Maid of Glenshee
Performed by Mary Dunphy Accession # 78-054 NFLD 1 Tape 2 Track 10
Community: Tors Cove Audio:
Genre: Ballad / love defies class difference  


As I walked out one fine summer's morning
Just as the dawning came over the sea
I spied a fair maiden as she was a-walking
And minding her flocks on the hills of Glenshee

Said I, "Pretty fair one, if you'll be my dear one
I'll take you afar, my bride for to be
And I'll dress you up in your silks and satins
And likewise a footman to wait upon thee."

"I don't want none of your silks or your satins
Neither your footman to wait upon me
I would rather stay home in my own lonesome clothing
And tend to my flocks on the hills of Glenshee."

Said I, "Pretty fair one, you don't understand me,
I'll take you over my bride for to be
And this very night in my arms I will hold you."
She then gave consent and she came on with me

For seven long years we've been united together
Seasons have changed but there's no change in me
And if God spares to me life and the right senses
I'll never prove false to the maid of Glenshee

To part from my Mary, she's my only darling
She's sweet as the perfume that blows o'er the sea
And she's just as fair as the white robe of winter
That spreads out its fleece on the hills of Glenshee


Sources: Laws O6; Mercer 132 ("Hills of Glenshee"), Leach 98 ("Lass of Glenshee"), Fowke 1994: 62 ("Lass of Glenshee"); Henry 590 ("Lass of Glenshee"); Roud 292 .

History: Popular in Scotland and Ireland. The author may be Andrew Sharpe, ca. 1805 (

Text notes: Courtship between a high class man and shepherdess ends happily.

Tune notes: Each line of the text has a distinctive musical phrase (abcd).

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