Mudcat Café message #3888196 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22802   Message #3888196
Posted By: GUEST,diplocase
12-Nov-17 - 05:03 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Bonny May (from June Tabor)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bonny May (from June Tabor)
of interest to those who love the Scots versions, here is a link to a different version of this song, called "The Yowe-Bucht, or The Maid of the Cowdenknowes". This version was collected in 1954 by Hamish Henderson from Maggie Stewart of Aberdeenshire and can be heard on (Kist o' Riches).
The Yowe-Bucht sung by Maggie Stewart of Aberdeenshire

a yowe is a ewe or adult female sheep. A bucht is an enclosure to confine the ewes while they are being milked.   The word kye is the Scottish version of the old English word kine, an archaic plural meaning cattle. Note that in archaic usage 'cattle' can mean not only bovines but sheep as well, or any livestock, or even movable property in general. (Cattle and chattel are closely related and from the same root.) Thus the young man says May's father may 'call out the kye himself' although it is clear throughout the song that we are speaking of sheep, not cows.