Up a Wild and Lonely Glen

Stanley Robertson: On Autumn Harvest ah003: Old Songs & Bothy Ballads: For Friendship and for Harmony. Live from the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2005.

A song that is still widely found in the living tradition under various titles including Bonnie Lass among the Heather - often with very beautiful modal tunes as here. There are versions known in the Canadian Atlantic provinces - sometimes with more verses than often known in Scotland (GD 5: 962; Roud 375).

1: It's up a wild and lonely glen,
Shaded by many a fearful mountain,
'Twas far fae the busy haunts o men,
The first day that I gaed oot a-huntin.

2: Now I hae been tae parties and balls,
And I hae been as far as Balquidder,
And the bonniest lassie that e'er I spied,
She wis herdin her yowies among the heather.

3: Her face wis white, her goun wis green,
Her form it wis sae tall and slender,
Wi her douncast looks and her weel-fared face,
For she made my hert nae mair tae render.

4: Says I, "Bonnie lass, wid ye gang wi me,
And lie wi me in a bed o feathers,
And the silks and the scarlets I'll mak them thine:
Leave aa your lambs and yowies the-gether."

5: Says I, "Kind Sir, your offer's fair,
But I think it is meant in laughter,
For you are the son o some rich squire,
And I but a humble shepherd's dochter."

6: I bless the time, I bless the day,
When first it taen my rovin fancy,
She wis herdin her sheep amongst the hills,
The first time I ever hae spied my Nancy.
c p 2006 Autumn Harvest