Child's Ballads/240

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
"The Rantin Laddie", no. 240


A[edit]

'AFTEN hae I playd at the cards and the dice,
For the love of a bonie rantin laddie,
But now I maun sit in my father's kitchen-neuk
And balow a bastard babie.
'For my father he will not me own,
And my mother she neglects me,
And a' my friends hae lightlyed me,
And their servants they do slight me.
'But had I a servant at my command,
As aft times I've had many,
That wad rin wi a letter to bonie Glenswood,
Wi a letter to my rantin laddie!'
'O is he either a laird or a lord,
Or is he but a cadie,
That ye do him ca sae aften by name
Your bonie, bonie rantin laddie?'
'Indeed he is baith a laird and a lord,
And he never was a cadie,
But he is the Earl o bonie Aboyne,
And he is my rantin laddie.'
'O ye'se get a servant at your command,
As aft times ye've had many,
That sall rin wi a letter to bonie Glenswood,
A letter to your rantin laddie.'
When Lord Aboyne did the letter get,
O but he blinket bonie!
But or he had read three lines of it
I think his heart was sorry.
'O wha is [this] daur be sae bauld
Sae cruelly to use my lassie?
. . . .
. . .
'For her father he will not her know,
And her mother she does slight her,
And a' her friends hae lightlied her,
And their servants they neglect her.
'Go raise to me my five hundred men,
Make haste and make them ready,
With a milk-white steed under every ane,
For to bring hame my lady.'
As they cam in thro Buchanshire,
They were a company bonie,
With a gude claymor in every hand,
And O but they shin'd bonie!

B[edit]

'OFT have I playd at the cards an the dyce,
The war so very enticin;
But this is a sad an a sorrowfu seat,
To see my apron risin.
'Oft hae I playd at the cards an the dice
For love of my [rantin] laddie;
But now I man sit in my father's kitchie-nouk,
A rokkin o my baby.
'But gin I had ane o my father's servans,
For he has so mony,
That wad gae to the wood o Glentanner,
Wi a letter to the rantin laddie!'
'Here am I, ane o your father's servans,
For he has sae mony,
That will gae to the wood o Glentanner,
Wi a letter to the rantin laddie.'
'Fan ye gae to Aboyne,
To the woods o Glentanner sae bonny,
Wi your hat in your hand gie a bow to the ground,
In the presence o the rantin laddie.'
Fan he gaed to Aboyne,
To the woods o Glentanner sae bonny,
Wi his hat in his hand he gied a bow to the ground,
In the presence of the rantin laddie.
Fan he looked the letter on
Sae loud as he was laughin!
But or he read it to an end
The tears they cam down rappin.
'O fa is this or fa is that
Has been so ill to my Maggie?
. . . .
. . . .
'But ye gett four-and-twenty milk white steeds,
Wi an car . . .
An as mony gay ladies to ride them on,
To gae an bring hame my Maggie.
'Ye get four-and-twenty bonny brown steeds,
Wi an car o an ome,
An as mony knights to ride them on,
To gae an bring hame my Maggie.'
Ye lasses a', far ever ye be,
An ye match wi ony o our Deeside laddies,
Ye'll happy be, ye'l happy be,
For they are frank and kind.

C[edit]

'AFT hae I playd at cards and dice
For the love o a bonny rantin laddie,
But now I maun sit i my father's kitchen-nook,
And sing, Hush, balow, my baby.
'If I had been wise, and had taen advice,
And dane as my bonny love bade me,
I would hae been married at Martinmass,
And been wi my rantin laddie.
'But I was na wise, I took nae advice,
Did not as my bonny love bade me,
And now I maun sit by mysel i the nook,
And rock my bastard baby.
'If I had horse at my command,
As often I had many,
I would ride on to the Castle o Aboyne,
Wi a letter to my rantin laddie.'
Down the stair her father came,
And look d proud and saucy:
'Who is the man, and what is his name,
That ye ca your rantin laddie?
'Is he a lord, or is he a laird?
Or is he but a caddie?
Or is it the young Earl o Aboyne
That ye ca your rantin laddie?'
'He is a young and noble lord,
He never was a caddie;
It is the noble Earl o Aboyne
That I ca my rantin laddie.'
'Ye shall hae a horse at your command,
As ye had often many,
To go to the Castle o Aboyne,
Wi a letter to your rantin laddie.
'Where will I get a little page,
Where will I get a caddie,
That will run quick to bonny Aboyne,
Wi this letter to my rantin laddie?'
Then out spoke the young scullion-boy,
Said, Here am I, a caddie;
I will run on to bonny Aboyne,
Wi the letter to your rantin laddie.
'Now when ye come to bonny Deeside,
Where woods are green and bonny,
There will ye see the Earl o Aboyne,
Among the bushes mony.
'And when ye come to the lands o Aboyne,
Where all around is bonny,
Ye'll take your hat into your hand,
Gie this letter to my rantin laddie.'
When he came near the banks of Dee,
The birks were blooming bonny,
And there he saw the Earl o Aboyne,
Among the bushes mony.
'Where are ye going, my bonny boy?
Where are ye going, my caddie?'
'I am going to the Castle o Aboyne,
Wi a letter to the rantin laddie.'
'See yonder is the castle then,
My young and handsome caddie,
And I myself am the Earl o Aboyne,
Tho they ca me the rantin laddie.'
'O pardon, my lord, if I've done wrong;
Forgive a simple caddie;
O pardon, pardon, Earl o Aboyne,
I said but what she bade me.'
'Ye have done no wrong, my bonny boy,
Ye've done no wrong, my caddie;'
Wi hat in hand he bowed low,
Gave the letter to the rantin laddie.
When young Aboyne looked the letter on,
O but he blinkit bonny!
But ere he read four lines on end
The tears came trickling mony.
'My father will no pity shew,
My mother still does slight me,
And a' my friends have turned from me,
And servants disrespect me.'
'Who are they dare be so bold
To cruelly use my lassie?
But I'll take her to bonny Aboyne,
Where oft she did caress me.
'Go raise to me five hundred men,
Be quick and make them ready;
Each on a steed, to haste their speed,
To carry home my lady.'
As they rode on thro Buchanshire,
The company were many,
Wi a good claymore in every hand,
That glanc d wondrous bonny.
When he came to her father's gate,
He called for his lady:
'Come down, come down, my bonny maid,
And speak wi your rantin laddie.'
When she was set on high horseback,
Rowd in the Highland plaidie,
The bird i the bush sang not so sweet
As sung this bonny lady.
As they rode on thro Buchanshire,
He cried, Each Lowland lassie,
Lay your love on some lowland lown,
And soon will he prove fause t' ye.
'But take my advice, and make your choice
Of some young Highland laddie,
Wi bonnet and plaid, whose heart is staid,
And he will not beguile ye.'
As they rode on thro Garioch land,
He rode up in a fury,
And cried, Fall back, each saucy dame,
Let the Countess of Aboyne before ye.

D[edit]

'AFT hae I played at he cards and the dice,
It was a' for the sake o my laddie,
But noo I sit i my father's kitchie-neuk,
Singing ba to a bonnie bastard babbie.
'Whar will I get a bonnie boy sae kin
As will carry a letter cannie,
That will rin on to the gates o the Boyne,
Gie the letter to my rantin laddie?'
'Here am I, a bonnie boy sae kin,
As will carry a letter cannie,
That will rin on to the gates o the Boyne,
Gie the letter to your rantin laddie.'
'When ye come to the gates o the Boyne,
An low doon on yon cassie,
Ye'll tak aff your hat an ye'll mak a low bow,
Gie the letter to my rantin laddie.'
'When ye come to gates o the Boyne,
Ye'll see lords an nobles monie;
But ye'll ken him among them a',
He's my bonnie, bonnie rantin laddie.'
'Is your bonnie love a laird or a lord,
Or is he a cadie,
That ye call him so very often by name
Your bonnie rantin laddie?'
'My love's neither a laird nor a lord,
Nor is he a cadie,
But he is yerl o a' the Boyne,
An he is my bonnie rantin laddie.'
When he read a line or two,
He smil d eer sae bonnie;
But lang ere he cam to the end
The tears cam trinklin monie.
'Whar will I find fifty noble lords,
An as monie gay ladies,

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