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Lyr Req: Bonny May (from June Tabor)

29 Jun 00 - 02:15 PM (#249309)
Subject: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: GUEST,szatan@hotmail.com

I'm looking for the lyrics for the song Bonny May as sung by june Tabor. Can anyone help?

Search for "Bonny May" threads


29 Jun 00 - 08:05 PM (#249528)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: GUEST,Barry Finn

You'll find the lyrics in a thread posted in Oct 98. Enter in Bonny May & you'll see it there. Sorry still don't do blue clicky things. Barry


29 Jun 00 - 08:22 PM (#249538)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Malcolm Douglas

But be sure to use the "Digitrad and Forum Search" box on the main Forum page, not the "Lyrics Search" box on this page!


29 Jun 00 - 08:48 PM (#249553)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Pene Azul

June Tabor's Bonny May


30 Jun 00 - 06:14 AM (#249702)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: GeorgeH

Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a complete text in that earlier thread. Perhaps I'll have to go and listen until I can compile one . . such hardship . .

(Never did post my corrected transcription of June's "Earl of Arboyne", did I??)

G.


30 Jun 00 - 06:31 AM (#249706)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Wolfgang

GeorgeH, wait (until Monday) if you read this. I've done that job last year (transcribing what June Tabor actually sings) and it's much less hardship to correct my 90+ % correct version than to start from scratch.

Wolfgang


03 Jul 00 - 08:48 AM (#250996)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Wolfgang

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.

Wolfgang

BONNY MAY

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.

^^


03 Jul 00 - 04:54 PM (#251248)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Barbara

Hi Wolfgang, here's what I get:
(my changes in bold)

BONNY MAY

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.

Blessings,
Barbara^^


03 Jul 00 - 04:57 PM (#251250)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Barbara

Oh, pucky. Forget one lousy close bold bracket, and the whole thing goes black!
JOoooooeeee! HELP!
Blessings,
Barbara.


03 Jul 00 - 06:57 PM (#251296)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Barbara - your lyrics were fraught with "senior moments," I'm afraid. It wasn't just the first one you messed up. I dutifully corrected them all, and now you will appear to be perfect, I think.
Say, please try to remember to put line breaks in every lines of lyrics, especially in the blank spaces between stanzas. It copy-pastes much better that way when we're harvesting for the database.
-Joe-


04 Jul 00 - 05:04 AM (#251508)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Wolfgang

Barbara,
thanks a lot, even only reading your version (and not yet listening to June Tabor singing it) it sounds like a big improvement. Now we need some help with just one line and then I'll try to post a 'final' June Tabor version with the last line repetitions that are in aldus' verses also incorporated in 'my' verses.

Wolfgang


06 Jul 00 - 09:37 AM (#252823)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Wolfgang

Now here's a better looking version in which I (1) have incorporated nearly all of Barbara's improvements (I dissent on 'night') (2) have introduced a few changes in aldus' lyrics to make it compatible with what June Tabor sings and (3) have added the fifth line repetition whereever June Tabor sings it. Now it's a good moment to mail GUEST, szatan, for it now looks like what he has asked for.

Wolfgang



BONNY MAY

Bonny May, a shepherdess has gone
To call the sheep to 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
And one of them has lighted down
And asked her where the way, way,
And has asked her where 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, wrong,
For fear you do me wrong."

Now he's ta'en her by the meadow gyp
And by the green gown sleeve,
And there he's had his will of her
And he's asked of her no leave, 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, long,
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, 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, long
Daughter, you tarried long."

"Oh, woe betide your shepherd, father,
He takes no care of the sheep,
For he's (fiddled?) and folded the work of the down
And the fox has frightened me, me
And the fox has frightened me."

"Oh, there came a fox 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, 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, right eye,
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, down,
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 all she said,
Was "I've a good man of my own, own,
I've 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.

Now he's mounted off his berry brown steed,
And he's sat the fair May on.
"Go call out your kye, father, yourself,
She'll ne'er call them again, again
She'll ne'er call them again."

Oh, he's Lord of twenty plough of land,
Twenty plough and three,
And he's taken away the bonniest lass
In all the South country, country,
In all the South country.


06 Jul 00 - 05:45 PM (#253072)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: lamarca

I sing this one! Here's a couple more corrections:

Verse 4: Now he's ta'en her by the middle jimp
And by the green gown sleeve,
And there he's had his will of her
And he's asked of her no leave, leave,
He's asked of her no leave.

The line in the original Scots is something like:

    He's ta'en her by the middle sae jimp

where jimp means slender or thin.

Verse 8:
Oh, woe betide your shepherd, father,
He takes no care of the sheep,
For he's builded the fold at the back of the down
And a fox has frightened me, me
And a fox has frightened me."

She's blaming the shepherd for building the sheep-fold at the back of the downs, a remote location.


07 Jul 00 - 06:50 AM (#253326)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Wolfgang

Thanks a lot, Mary, these were exactly the two lines I was unsure about. So, now once more with the new corrections, to make it more easy for the collectors.

Wolfgang

BONNY MAY

Bonny May, a shepherdess has gone
To call the sheep to 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
And one of them has lighted down
And asked her where the way, way,
And has asked her where 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, wrong,
For fear you do me wrong."

Now he's ta'en her by the middle jimp
And by the green gown sleeve,
And there he's had his will of her
And he's asked of her no leave, 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, long,
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, 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, long
Daughter, you tarried long."

"Oh, woe betide your shepherd, father,
He takes no care of the sheep,
For he's builded the fold at the back of the down
And the fox has frightened me, me
And the fox has frightened me."

"Oh, there came a fox 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, 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, right eye,
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, down,
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 all she said,
Was "I've a good man of my own, own,
I've 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.

Now he's mounted off his berry brown steed,
And he's sat the fair May on.
"Go call out your kye, father, yourself,
She'll ne'er call them again, again
She'll ne'er call them again."

Oh, he's Lord of twenty plough of land,
Twenty plough and three,
And he's taken away the bonniest lass
In all the South country, country,
In all the South country.
^^


07 Jul 00 - 12:15 PM (#253484)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Barbara

Thanks to you too, Wolfgang and lamarca. I think I must have been hearing a contraction of 'middle so' when I thought she was saying 'meadow'.
The trick with June Tabor is always to sort her English accent - and singing style - out from the words. She uses an abrupt beginning and cutoff on words to accentuate the rhythm, and then she has some variety of UK accent that changes the vowels. I imagine it's even harder to hear if English is not your first language.
blessings,
Barbara


07 Jul 00 - 02:42 PM (#253572)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Barbara

A few other minor things:
In the second verse, June sings "He's asked of her the way..."
In the 5th verse, it should be "He's soon o'rta'en..."
I still think it's kyne or kine, not kye, but I'll check our scottish dictionary...
And it might be "Ere that he'd taken the one that he did..." I'll give it a listen again.
Lamarca/Mary, any thoughts on these?
Blessings,
BArbara


21 Jul 00 - 12:28 PM (#262190)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: GUEST

Thanks for the part about the middle gyp. I agree about most of it but I think the first line is Bonnie may and her shepard have gone to call the sheep to the fold. Hence all the later references to the shepard. What does go call out your Kye mean though? Payson


21 Jul 00 - 02:55 PM (#262288)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Noreen

Kye means cows; kine is also cows, but is a double plural(kyen) from Middle English. Well sorted, all!

Noreen


19 Dec 00 - 05:47 PM (#360048)
Subject: More on Bonny May...
From: InOBU

In the wave of political conversations, I have suddunly taken a quare notion to have a chat about music! Must be the impending snow... Bonny May, as sung by June Tabor, - Yup Wolfgang, great song, eh? Well, in the words as posted by Barbara, she sais, "He's taken her by the middle gimp or gyp" In deed it does sound like qyp... however, could it not be, taken her by the middle HIP? Anyone with other sourses that might add a little light here?
Larry
Messages from multiple threads combined.
-Joe Offer-


19 Dec 00 - 10:36 PM (#360174)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More on Bonny May...
From: Malcolm Douglas

The original discussion is here:   Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor

My money is still on "middle jimp": same as the more common "middle sma'".  Cf. Alexander Warrack's Scots Dialect Dictionary (Waverley, 2000):  jimp-middled, -waisted: adj., slender-waisted.

Malcolm


20 Dec 00 - 07:24 AM (#360287)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More on Bonny May...
From: Wolfgang

I was quite contented with the last version in the thread Malcolm has linked to, including, of course, Barbara's corrections in a later post. The 'jimp' explanation also sounded satisfactory for me.
The only bit I still have in memory as unsolved is the 'shepherdess' in the first line since I have read some place (Mudcat?) that it might be heard as 'shepherd has' (with another minor change in the line) to introduce the second character of this song who is needed later. I have tried to decide by listening but that bit is beyond my abilities.

Wolfgang


20 Dec 00 - 08:12 AM (#360300)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More on Bonny May...
From: InOBU

Jimp sounds good to me, recalls to me the moment in Right Stuff, when Von Braun tells Johnson that we can put a Jimp in space before long, and Johnson says What the HELL is a JIMP? - Thanks and cheers, Larry


26 Jan 01 - 06:39 AM (#382901)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: GUEST,David

I think the first line of the 4th verse is "he's taken her by the meadow gyp" -'gyp' as in the plant with small white flowers favoured by florists


12 Sep 03 - 05:09 AM (#1017399)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: GUEST,Dominic Cronin

In the first line I think it is

"Bonny May a-shepherding has gone...


12 Sep 03 - 06:30 AM (#1017439)
Subject: RE: Lyrics of Bonny May? as sung by J. Tabor
From: Mary Humphreys

I agree with Dominic.
Mary


13 Sep 03 - 02:02 AM (#1018005)
Subject: Lyr Add: BONNY MAY (from June Tabor)
From: Garry Gillard

BONNY MAY
As sung by June Tabor on "Airs and Graces"

1. Bonny May, a-shepherding has gone
To call the sheep to 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.

2. There came a troop of gentlemen
As they were riding by,
And one of them has lighted down,
And he's asked of her the way, way,
And he's asked of her the way.

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

4. Now he's taken her by the middle jimp,
And by the green gown sleeve,
And there he's had his will of her,
And he's asked of her no leave, leave,
And he's asked of her no leave.

5. Now he's mounted on his berry-brown steed.
He's soon o'erta'en his men,
And one and all cried out to him:
"Oh, master, you tarried long, long,
Oh, master, you tarried long."

6. "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 the fold, fold."

7. 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, long.
Oh, daughter, you tarried long."

8. "Oh, woe be to your shepherd, father.
He takes no care of the sheep,
For he's builded the fold at the back of the down,
And the fox has frightened me, me,
And the fox has frightened me.

9. "For there came a fox to the fold door
With twinkling eye so bold,
And ere he'd taken the lamb that he did,
Oh, I'd rather he'd taken them all, all."

10. Now twenty weeks were gone and past,
Twenty weeks and three,
And the lassie began to fret and to frown,
And to long for the twinkling eye, bright eye,
And to long for the twinkling eye.

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

12. "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've a good man of my own, own."

13. "You lie, you lie, you bonny, bonny 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."

14. Now he's mounted off his berry-brown steed.
He's set the fair May on.
"Go call out your kye, father, yourself.
She'll ne'er call them again, again,
She'll ne'er call them again."

15. Oh, he's Lord of twenty plough of land,
Twenty plough and three,
And he's taken away the bonniest lass
In all the South country, country,
In all the South country.


09 Dec 14 - 10:49 AM (#3683885)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bonny May (from June Tabor)
From: GUEST,Betty

As I have read the lyrics to the song while playing it on Last FM, I was suddenly stricken with the fox motif. Rather I think it is an allegory to Reynardine or Reynard the Fox, so she is truthfully telling her father about what happened to her, but then not really telling him. What say you?


09 Dec 14 - 10:52 AM (#3683886)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bonny May (from June Tabor)
From: Dave Hanson

You waited 11 years to tell us that ?

Dave H


04 Aug 15 - 05:47 PM (#3728222)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bonny May (from June Tabor)
From: GUEST,Rich Blaker

Thanks for that comment Dave!
Just brilliant...
Couldn't stop laughing for an hour
Cheers
Rich


12 Nov 17 - 05:03 PM (#3888196)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bonny May (from June Tabor)
From: GUEST,diplocase

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 TobaranDualchais.co.uk (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.