Maggie Lauder
Download Midi File
Lesley Nelson-Burns

This ballad is credited in Songs of Scotland (1877) to Francis Sempill (1616-1682) who wrote it around 1642. The air was popular in London at the beginning of the 18th century. It appeared in The Quaker's Opera in 1728 and in John Gay's Achilles in 1733.*

Other versions of the lyrics deal with the seduction and pregnancy of Maggie (see Moggy Lawder). Variant spellings include Moggy Lawther, Moggy Lauther, Maggie Lawder, Magie Lawder, Maggie Lawder and Maggy Lauder.

Wha wadna be in love
Wi' bonnie Maggie Lauder?
A piper met her guan to Fife,
And pier'd what was't they ca'd her;
Right scornfully she answer'd him,
Began you hall shaker,
Jog on your gate,
ye bladderscate,
My name is Maggie Lauder.

Maggie, quo he, and by my bags
I'm fidgin' fain to see the;
Sit down by me, my bonnie bird,
In troth I winna steer thee:
My name is Rob the Ranter;
The lasses loup as they were daft,
When I blaw up my chanter.

Piper, quo Meg, hae ye your bags,
Or is your drone in order?
If ye be Rob, I've heard of you,
Live ye upon the border?
The lasses a', baith far and near
Hae hear o' Rob the Ranter;
I'll shake my foot wi' right goo-will,
Fig ye'll blaw up your chanter.

Then to his bags he flew wi' speed,
About the drone he twisted;
Meg up and walloped o'er the gree,
For brawly could she frisk it.
Weel done, quo' he: play up, quo' she:
Weel bobb'd, quo Rob the Ranter;
It's worth my while to play, indeed,
When I hae sic a dancer.

Weel hae you play'd your part, quo' Meg,
Your cheeks are like the crimson;
There's nane in Scotland plays sae weel,
Sin' we lost Habby Simson.
I've live'd in Fife, baith maid and wife,
These ten years and a quarter;
Gin ye should come to Anster fair,
Spier ye for Maggie Lauder.
Related Links
From Songs of Scotland The Royal Edition, Volume I and
*Songs of Scotland (Graham)
See Bibliography for full information.