Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
Roy's Wife is a traditional Scots melody. These words were written by Elizabeth Grant (1745-1814). In a letter dated 1793, Burns wrote that he had original words for Roy's Wife by "the lady who composed it."

The tune is Ruffian's Rant. It appears in The Scots Musical Museum (1787-1802). The Museum also has two other sets of lyrics to the tune, including Theniel Menzies bonie Mary. The air is attributed to Niel Gow, the famous Scotish piper and musician.*.

Elizabeth Grant was born to Scottish parents in Ireland. She married her cousin. She was known as Elizabeth Grant so she would not be confused with another songwriter who was also Mrs. Grant. Her husband died in 1790. She later married a doctor, Mr. Murray and lived in Bath until her death.*

braes=hills
carle=old man
canty=sprightly

Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Wat ye how she cheated me,
As I came o'er the braes of Balloch?


She vow'd, she swore she wad be mine;
She said she lo'ed me best of onie;
But O the fickle, faithless quean,
She's ta'en the carle and left her Johnnie!
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Wat ye how she cheated me,
As I came o'er the braes of Balloch?


O' she was a canty queen,
And weel could dance the Highland walloch;
How happy I had she been mine,
Or I been Roy of Aldivalloch,
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Wat ye how she cheated me,
As I came o'er the braes of Balloch?


Her hair sae fair,
Her e'en sae clear,
Her wee bit mou' sae sweet and bonnie,
To me she ever will be dear,
Tho she's forever left her Johnnie.
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
Wat ye how she cheated me,
As I came o'er the braes of Balloch?


From Our National Songs
Information from Scots Musical Museum
See Bibliography for full information.