Mudcat Café message #250996 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22802   Message #250996
Posted By: Wolfgang
03-Jul-00 - 08:48 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Bonny May (from June Tabor)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
Here it comes. I've taken without change all the verses as posted by Aldus back in 1998 (they are not exactly what June Tabor sings but very close and easy to follow when you listen to her singing). Marked (NT) (that is: new transcription) are verses transcribed by me (with some glimpses to Child versions). You'll see some bits I'm not contented with yet. I've put in parentheses what I hear but do not believe to be correct. There might be more mistakes even at unmarked places. I'll be glad for corrections to come. The order of verses, however is as sung by June Tabor.



Bonny May a shepherdess has gone
to call her sheep from the fold
and as she sang her Bonny voice it rang,
Right over the tops of the downs, downs
right over the tops of the downs.

There came a troop of gentlemen
as they were riding by
One of them has lighted down
and asked of her the way way,
And has asked of her the way.

(NT) Ride on, ride on, you (rank?) riders,
your steed so stout and strong,
oh, it's out of the fold I will not go
for fear you do me wrong.

He's taken her by the middle gimp
and by the green gown sleeve,
and he has had his will of her
and he's asked of her no leave;
he's asked of her no leave.

(NT) Now he's mounted on his bonnie brown steed,
he soon ordained his men
and one and all rode out to him.
"Oh, master, you tarried long."

(NT) "Oh, I've ridden East and I've ridden West,
and I've ridden o'er the downs,
but the bonniest lass that ever I saw
she was gone and her sheep to fold."

(NT) She's taken the milk pail on her head
and she's gone lingering home.
And all her father said to her
was: "Daughter, you tarried long."

(NT) "Oh, woe be to your shepherd, father,
he takes no care of the sheep,
for he's (biddled/bigged??) and folded the work of the down
and the fox has frightened me."

The fox has come to the fold door
with twinkling eye so bold
and ere he'd take the lamb that he did
I wish he'd taken them all ,
I wish he'd taken them all.

(NT) Now twenty weeks were gone and past,
twenty weeks and three,
the lassie began to fret and to frown
and to long for the twinkling eye.

(NT) Now it fell on a day, on a bonnie summer's day
that she walked out alone.
That (sound??) same troop of gentlemen
Come a-riding over the down.

(NT) "Who got the babe with thee, Bonny May,
who got the babe in thy arms?"
For shame, she blushed, and "Aye, she said,
Oh, I have a good man of my own."

You lie , you lie you Bonnie Bonnie May,
So loud I hear you lie..
Remember the misty murky night
I lay in the fold with thee, thee
I lay in the fold with thee.

(NT) Now he's mounted off his very brown steed,
he (?said the fair May: Oh / set the fair May on??),
go call out your kye, good father, yourself,
she'll ne'er call them again.

(NT) Oh, he's the Lord of twenty plough of land,
twenty plough and three,
and he's taken away the bonniest lass
in all the South country.