Within a Mile of Edinburgh Town
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Within a Mile of Edinburgh Town was written by Thomas D'Urfey (1653-1723). D'Urfey was a famous English dramatist whose patrons included Charles II, James II and William and Mary (after changing his religion). He wrote 32 plays and some 500 songs. He published the several volume work, Wit and Mirth: or, Pills to Purge Melancholy, which included his work and others as well as older airs and ballads. The words and tune for this tune first appeared in Delicae Musicae in 1696.

This is a "much altered" version of the original lyrics. For the original go to Within a Furlong of Edinborough Town. The tune is sometimes attributed to Henry Purcell (who D'Urfey often collaborated with). However, according to some sources it was probably written by Jeremiah Clarke.*

'Twas within a mile of Edinburgh town,
In the rosy time of the year,
Sweet flowers bloom'd and the grass was down,
And each shepherd woo'd his dear,
Bonnie Jockie, blythe and gay,
Kiss'd young Jenny making hay;
The lassie blush'd, and frowning cried,
Na, Na, it winna do;
I canna, canna, winna, winna
Maunna buckle do.


Jockie was a wag that never wad wed,
though lang he had followed the lass;
Contented she earned and ate her brown bread,
And merrily turned up the grass.
Bonnie Jockie, blythe and free,
Won her heart right merrily,
Yet still she blush'd and frowning cried,
Na, Na, it winna do;
I canna, canna, winna, winna
Maunna buckle do.


But when he vow'd he wad make her his bride,
Though his flocks and herds were not few,
She gie'd him her hand and a kiss beside,
And vow'd she'd forever be true,
Bonnie Jockie, blythe and free,
Won her heart right merrily;
At kirk she no more frowning cried;
Na, Na, it winna do;
I canna, canna, winna, winna
Maunna buckle do.

Related Links
From Songs of Scotland
The Royal Edition, Volume I
*The Songs of Thomas D'Urfey
See Bibliography for full information.