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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Joe Offer Origins: The Bonnie Woods o Hatton/Hatton Woods (7) RE: Origins: The Bonnie Woods o Hatton 23 Aug 21






This Popular Song can always be had at the Poet's Box,
224 Overgate, Dundee.

Ye comrades and companions, and all ye   females dear,

To my sad lamentations, I pray you lend   an ear ;

There was once I lo'ed a bonnie lass, I lo'ed her as my life,

And it was my whole intention to make her my wedded wife.

I courted we' the bonnie lass a Twelve-month-and-a-day,
Sometimes among the green grass, sometimes among the hay ;
I courted her the leelang night, and part of the next day,
Till she says, My dearest Sandy lad, it's time you were away.

Now say my dearest Molly when shall we set a time,
When you and I will get married, and hands together join,
And we'll sit in oor wee cottage, and ye'll neither spin nor sew,
While my ain gude-hearted hireman lad goes whistlin at the plough

There's Cadum and there's Cadum Mills and Luther Mills likewise
There woods and waters many more pleasant to mine eyes,
But the bonnie woods O' Hatton, they a' grow green in May,
It was there about the lassie lived that stole my heart away,

I'll mind about you bonnie lass when I am far awa,
I'll speak about yon bonnie lass to them she never saw,
I'll tell them that I loed her well but to me she proved untrue,
And she left me doon by Hatton Woods my follys for to rue.

But blessings on yon bonnie lass, where ever she may be,
I wish no evil unto her although she slighted me,
I only wish that she may say some day before she die,
I wish I had wed yon hireman lad that sang so sweet to me'

Can always be had at the Poet s Box.

The Midnight Express.
The Wanderer.
Fine Big Woman.
Down Among the Coals.
Sweet Seventeen.
The Auld House.
Mother's Parting Gift.
Death of Nelson.
The Lea Rig.
The Man that broke the
Bank at Monte Carlo.

Don't put my Father's Picture

up for sale.
The Iron Horse.
The Little Green Leaf in the


Down by the River I strayed.
The Night Maloney Landed

in New York.
Wot Cher ! or Knockod 'em

in the Old Kent Road.
Banks of Allan Water.
Let me like a soldier fall.


Verse 1: 'Ye comrades and companions, and all ye females dear, / To my sad lamentations, I pray you lend an ear ; / There was once I lo'ed a bonnie lass, I lo'ed her as my life, / And it was my whole intention to make her my wedded wife.' This sheet was published by the Poet's Box of the Overgate, Dundee.

The Poet's Box of Dundee published many broadside ballads such as this, as can be seen from the list at the bottom of this sheet. Dundee locals could buy copies from street pedlars or by calling into the Poet's Box. For those living further afield, the company would also sent sheets by post, in return for stamps, which they would presumably use in their everyday business, and stamps covering the cost of postage.
The Dundee Poets? Box was in operation from about 1880 to 1945, though it is possible that some material was printed as early as the 1850s. Most of the time it had premises at various addresses in Overgate. In 1885 the proprietor J.G. Scott (at 182 Overgate) had published a catalogue of 2,000 titles consisting of included humorous recitations, dialogues, temperance songs, medleys, parodies, love songs, Jacobite songs. Another proprietor in the 1880s was William Shepherd, but little is known about him. Poets? Box was particularly busy on market days and feeing days when country folk were in town in large numbers. Macartney specialised in local songs and bothy ballads. Many Irish songs were published by the Poets? Box ? many Irishmen worked seasonally harvesting potatoes and also in the jute mills. In 1906 John Lowden Macartney took over as proprietor of the Poet?s Box, initially working from 181 Overgate and later from no.203 and 207.

It is not clear what the connection between the different Poet?s Boxes were. They almost certainly sold each other?s sheets. It is known that John Sanderson in Edinburgh often wrote to the Leitches in Glasgow for songs and that later his brother Charles obtained copies of songs from the Dundee Poet?s Box. There was also a Poet's Box in Belfast from 1846 to 1856 at the address of the printer James Moore, and one at Paisley in the early 1850s, owned by William Anderson.

Early ballads were dramatic or humorous narrative songs derived from folk culture that predated printing. Originally perpetuated by word of mouth, many ballads survive because they were recorded on broadsides. Musical notation was rarely printed, as tunes were usually established favourites. The term 'ballad' eventually applied more broadly to any kind of topical or popular verse.

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Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Bonnie Woods o' Hatton, The

DESCRIPTION: "Ye comrades and companions... To my sad lamentation I pray ye give an ear." The singer courted a beautiful girl, but at last she bid him depart. Now he prepares to leave home, still remembering her in Hatton and hoping that she will regret her decision
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (Ord-BothySongsAndBallads)
KEYWORDS: love courting separation
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Ord-BothySongsAndBallads, p. 185, "The Bonnie Woods o' Hatton" (1 text)
Stewart/Belle-Stewart-QueenAmangTheHeather, pp. 111-112, "Hatton Woods" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #5531
Cathie Stewart, "Hatton Woods" (on SCStewartsBlair01) [called "Hattan Woods" on the LP jacket but "Hatton Woods" on the lyrics sheet]
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(32), "Hatton Woods or the Bonnie Woods o' Hatton," Poet's Box (Dundee), c. 1890
Hattan Woods
File: Ord185

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