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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Nynia Lyr Req: Annan water (8) Lyr Add: ANNAN WATER 26 Jan 01

This song as transcribed here appears in Child as an Appendix to "Rare Wille Drowned In Yarrow" (Child 215). In this context it was taken form Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, who suggests it may be a version of Allan Water. Child however also states that Alan Cunningham claimed to have heard it sung by the Annan River itself. Cunningham was a poet/collector who wrote many songs himself and passed them off as traditional. This added to the fact that Cunningham and Scott were friends may give credence to Childs suggestion that the words may have been written by Cunningham.


Annan water's wading deep
And my love Annie's wond'rous bonnie
And I am laith that she should wet her feet
Because I lo'e her best of any

Gar saddle me the bonnie black
Gar saddle soon and mak' him ready
For I will down the gate-hope slack
And a' tae see my bonnie lady

He's loupen on the bonnie black
And stirred him wi' the spur right sairly
But ere he won the gate-hope slack
Methinks the steed was wae and weary

He's loupen on the bonnie grey
He rade the right gate and the ready
I trow he'd neither stint nor stay
For he was seeking his bonnie lady

O' he has ridden o'er field and fell
O'er muir and moss and mony a mire
His spurs o' steel were sair tae bide
And frae her fore-feet flew the fire

Now bonnie grey now do your part
Gin ye be the steed that wins my dearie
Wi' oats and hay ye'll be fed for aye
And never spur shall make you weary

Now the grey was a mare and a right good mare
But when she won the Annan water
He couldnae hae ridden a furlong mair
Had a hundred merks been wadded at her

Oh boatman, boatman put off your boat
Put off your boat for gowden money
I cross the drumly stream the night
Or never more may see my dearie

O' I hae sworn late yestereen
And not by ain aith but by many
And for a' the gowd in fair scotland
I darena tak' ye through tae annie

They side was stey and the bottom deep
Frae bank tae brae the water pourin'
The bonnie grey mare did sweat for fear
For she had heard the kelpie roarin'

O' he's pu'ed aff his dapp'ry coat
The silver buttons glanc'd bonnie
His waistcoat bursted aff his breast
He was sae fu' o' melancholy

He's ta'en the stream at that ford tail
I wot he swam baith strang and steady
But the stream was broad and his strength did fail
And he never saw his bonnie lady

O' woe betide that fresh saugh-wand
And woe betide ye bush o' briar
For ye brak' intae my true loves hand
When his strength did fail and his limbs did tire

O' woe betide ye Annan water
This night ye are a drumly river
But over ye I'll build a bridge
That ye never mair true love may sever


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