Lady Anne Bothwell's Lament
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Barry Taylor


Download Version 2
Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
The Lady Bothwell of the tune is Lady Anne Bothwell, the daughter of the Bishop of Orkney and her cousin, Colonel Alexander Erskine, son of the Earl of Mar, who was killed in 1640.*

According George Graham's Songs of Scotland, Bishop Percy writes that a fragment of this ballad in his manuscripts was written at least as early as 1558, in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign. As the Earl of Mar was killed later than that, Graham speculates that Percy mixed up his dates. The ballad was also published in Watson's Collection, printed in Edinburgh in 1711 and the ballad with music was in Orpheus Caledonius (1725). However, Hyperion Records has this tune on its English Orpheus series. According to its website the tune was written in 1791 by Joseph Corfe (1741-1820).

The tune is also known as Baloo, My Boy.

Baloo, my boy, lie still and sleep
It grieves me sore to hear thee weep
If thou'lt be silent I'll be glad
Thy moaning makes my heart full sad.
Baloo, my boy, thy mother's joy
Thy father bred me great annoy
Baloo, baloo, baloo, baloo
Baloo, baloo, lu-li-li-lu.

O'er thee I keep my lonely watch
Intent thy lightest breath to catch
O, when thou wak'st to see thee smile
And thus my sorrow to beguile.
Baloo, my boy, thy mother's joy
Thy father bred me great annoy
Baloo, my boy, lie still and sleep
It grieves me sore to hear thee weep.

Twelve weary months have crept away
Since he, upon thy natal day
Left thee and me, to seek afar
A bloody fate in doubtful war.
Baloo, my boy, lie still and sleep
It grieves me sore to hear thee weep
If thou'lt be silent, I'll be glad
Thy moaning makes my heart full sad.

I dreamed a dream but yesternight
Thy father slain in foreign fight
He, wounded, stood beside my bed
His blood ran down upon thy head
He spoke no word, but looked on me
Bent low, and gave a kiss to thee!
Baloo, baloo, my darling boy
Thou'rt now alone thy mother's joy.
From The Saltire Scottish Song Book and
*Songs of Scotland
The Royal Edition, Volume I
See Bibliography for full information.
And Bruce Olsen's Roots of Folk Website