The Yellow Hair'd Laddie
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This ballad was printed on 18th century broadsides. The words are by the poet Allan Ramsay (1686-1757).

Alternate titles and variations include I am a Brisk Youngster and The Country-mans Care in Choosing a Wife.

The yellow hair'd laddie sat down on yon brae,
Cried, Milk the ewes, lassie, let nane o' them gae.
And aye as she milked, she merrily sang,
The yellow hair'd laddie shall be my gudeman.
And aye as she milked she merrily sang,
The yellow hair'd laddie shall be my gudeman.

The weather is cauld, and my claithing is thin:
The ewes are new clipped and they winna bught in -
They winna bught in, although I should dee;
O, yellow-hair'd laddie, be kind unto me.
They winna bught in, although I should dee;
O, yellow hair'd laddie be kind unto me.

The goodwife cries butt the house, Jenny, come ben,
The cheese is to make, and the butter's to kirn;
Though butter, and cheese, and a' should gang sour,
I'll crack and I'll kiss wi' my love ae hauf hour;
It's nae lang hauf hour, and we'll e'en make it three,
For the yellow-hair'd laddie my gudeman shall be.
Related Links
From Songs of Scotland
The Royal Edition, Volume I
See Bibliography for full information.
Information from Bruce Olsen's Roots of Folk Website