The Trooper and the Maid
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Ron Clarke


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Lyrics
This ballad is probably from an English broadside. It appears in the Skene Manuscript which dates to the first half of the seventeenth century. In that version Peggy leaves her husband to follow a soldier but returns and is forgiven.

The first part of the ballad appears in The Laird of Killary in George Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads (1827). Other titles and variants include: The Trooper and the Fair Maid, The Trooper and The Trooper Lad.

This ballad is Child Ballad #299.

For a complete list of Child Ballads at this site see Francis J. Child Ballads.

A trooper lad came here last night,
With riding he was weary,
A trooper lad came here last night,
When the moon shone bright and clearly.
Bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
Hey bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
I'll gar all your ribbons reel,
Bonny lassie, ere I leave you.

She's ta'en his high horse by the head,
She's led him to the stable,
She's given him both corn and hay
As much as he was able.
Bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
Hey bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
I'll gar all your ribbons reel,
Bonny lassie, ere I leave you.

She's ta'en the trooper by the hand
And led him to the table,
There's food and wine for a soldier here,
As much as he is able.
Bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
Hey bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
I'll gar all your ribbons reel,
Bonny lassie, ere I leave you.

She went upstairs to make the bed,
And she made it soft and easy.
She's pulled her petticoats o'er her head,
Crying, Soldier, are you ready ?
Bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
Hey bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
I'll gar all your ribbons reel,
Bonny lassie, ere I leave you.

He's taken off his big topcoat,
Likewise his hat and feather.
He's ta'en the broadsword from his side,
And now he's down beside her.
Bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
Hey bonny lassie, I'll lie near you,
I'll gar all your ribbons reel,
Bonny lassie, ere I leave you.

They had not been an hour in bed,
An hour but and a quarter,
When the drums came beating up the town,
And every beat got shorter.
Bonny lassie, I must leave you,
Now bonny lassie, I must leave you,
If ever I come this road again
I will come in and see you.

She's ta'en her gown out o'er her arms,
And followed him through Stirling.
She's grown so full she could not bow,
And he left her in Dunfermline.
Bonny lassie, I must leave you,
Now bonny lassie, I must leave you,
If ever I come this road again
I will come in and see you.

It's when will you come back again
To be your bairnie's daddy ?
When cockle shells grow silver bells
It's when I'll come and wed ye.
Bonny lassie, I must leave you,
Now bonny lassie, I must leave you,
If ever I come this road again
I will come in and see you.
From Ron Clarke
And
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
See Bibliography for full information.