Mudcat Café message #251248 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22802   Message #251248
Posted By: Barbara
03-Jul-00 - 04:54 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Bonny May (from June Tabor)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
Hi Wolfgang, here's what I get:
(my changes in bold)


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.

"Ride on, ride on, you rank riders,
Your steeds are stout and strong,
Oh, it's out of the fold I will not go
for fear you do me wrong."

Now he's ta'en her by the middle gimp (I hear meadow gyp, but I don't know what it is either)
And by the green gown sleeve,
And there he's had his will of her
And he's asked of her no leave;
He's asked of her no leave.

Now he's mounted on his berry brown steed,
He soon o'rta'en his men [contraction of overtaken]
And one and all cried out to him,
"Oh, master, you tarried long."

"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 calling her sheep to fold."

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."

"Oh, woe betide your shepherd, father,
He takes no care of the sheep,
For he's (biddled/bigged??) and folded the work of the down (fiddled, maybe?)
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'd rather he'd taken them all ,
I'd rather he'd taken them all."

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.

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

"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."
(I thought this was "...all she said, was "I've a good..")
"You lie , you lie you Bonnie Bonnie May,
So loud I hear you lie..
Remember the misty murky night
(I hear "time" not "night") I lay in the fold with thee, thee
I lay in the fold with thee.

Now he's mounted off his berry brown steed,
And he's set the fair maid (or May) on.
"Go call out your kyne, father, yourself,
she'll ne'er call them again."

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.