Of a' the maids o fair Scotland
The fairest was Marjorie,
And Young Benjie was her ae true-love,
And a dear true-love was he.
And wow! but they were lovers dear,
And loved fu constantlie;
But ay the mair, when they fell out,
The sairer was their plea.
And they hae quarrelled on a day,
Till Marjorie's heart grew wae,
And she said she'd chuse another luve,
And let Young Benjie gae.
And he was stout, and proud-hearted,
And thought o't bitterlie,
And he's gaen by the wan moon-light
To meet his Marjorie.
'O open, open, my true-love,
O open, and let me in!'
'I dare na open, Young Benjie,
My three brothers are within.
'Ye lied, ye lied, ye bonny burd,
Sae loud's I hear ye lie;
As I came by the Lowden hanks,
They bade gude een to Inc.
'But fare ye weel, my ae fause love,
That I hae loved sae lang!
It sets ye chuse another love,
And let Young Benjie gang.
Then Marjorie turned her round about,
The tear blinding her ee:
'I darena, darena let thee in,
But I'll come down to thee.'
Then saft she smiled, and said to him,
O what ill hae I done?
He took her in his armis twa,
And threw her oer the linn.
The stream was strang, the maid was stout,
And Iaith, Iaith to be dang,
But ere she wan the Lowden banks
Her fair colour was wan.
Then up bespak her eldest brother,
'O see na ye what I see?'
And out then spak her second brother,
'It's our sister Marjorie!'
Out then spak her eldest brother,
'O how shall we her ken?'
And out then spak her youngest brother,
'There's a honey-mark on her chin.
Then they've taen up the comely corpse,
And laid it on the grund:
'O wha has killed our ae sister,
And how can he be found
'The night it is her low lykewake,
The mourn her burial day,
And we maun watch at mirk midnight,
And hear what she will say.'
Wi doors ajar, and candle-light,
And torches burning clear,
The streikit corpse, till still midnight,
They waked, but naething hear.
About the middle o the night
The cocks began to craw,
And at the dead hour o the night
The corpse began to thraw.
'O wha has done the wrang, sister,
Or dared the deadly sin?
Wha was sae stout, and feared nae dout,
As thraw ye oer the linn?'
'Young Benjie was the first ae man
I laed my love upon;
He was sae stout and proud-hearted,
He threw me oer the linn.'
'Sail we Young Benjie head, sister?
Sail we Young Renjie hang?
Or sail we pike out his twa gray een,
And punish him ere he gang?'
'Ye mauna Benjie head, brothers,
Ye mauna Benjie hang.
But ye maun pike out his twa gray een,
And punish him ere he gang.
'Tie a green gravat round his neck,
And lead him out and in,
And the best ae servant about your house
To wait Young Benjie on.
'And ay, at every seven year's end,
Ye'll tak him to the linn;
For that's the penance he maun drie,
To scug his deadly sin.'
From Bronson, Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads
TUNE FILE: YNGBENJI
CLICK TO PLAY
Popup Midi Player