LYRICS for The Welcome Companion

Braes of Balquhidder 

Let us go, lassie, go 
Tae the braes of Balquhidder 
Where the blueberries grow 
All along the Highland heather 
Where the deer and the rae 
Lichtly bounding together 
Sport the long summer days 
On the braes of Balquhidder 

I will twine thee a bower 
Near yon clear and silver fountain 
And I'll cover it o'er 
Wi' the flooers of the mountain 
I will range through the wilds 
And the deep glens sae dreary 
And return with their spoils 
To the bower of my dearie 

When the rude and wintry wind 
Idly rail around our dwellin' 
And the roarin’ of the linn 
On the nicht breeze is swellin' 
So merrily we'll sing 
As the storm rages o'er us 
'Til the dear shielin' ring 
Wi' the licht liltin' chorus 

Now the summer’s in it’s prime 
And the trees are sweetly bloomin' 
And the wild mountain thyme 
All the moorland's perfumin' 
To our dear and native scenes 
Let us journey together 
Where glad innocence reigns 
On the braes o' Balquhidder 

When a Man's in Love,  Hugh McWilliams, the weaver poet [d.1831] 

When a man's in love he’ll feel no cold
Like me not long ago
Like a hero bold to see his girl
He'll plough through frost and snow
And the moon did gently shed her light
Along my weary way
Until I came to that fine spot
Where all my treasure lay. 

And I rapped three times on the window saying
My darlin’, are you within?
And slowly she undid the latch
And slyly I slipped in.
And her hand was soft, her breath it was sweet
And her tongue it did gently glide
I stole a kiss, it was no miss
And I asked her to be my bride. 

O, Take me to your chamber love,
Take me to your bed
Take me to your chamber love
And I’ll rest my weary head.
Well, to take you to my chamber love
My parents they won’t agree
But sit you down by yon bright fire
And I'll lie close to thee.

Well, many's the night that I've courted you
Against your father's will
You have never said that you'd be my bride
So now I say, sit still
Tonight I’m bound across the seas
To far Columbia's shore
And you will never ever see
Your youthful love no more 

Many's the dark and stormy night
I  came to visit you
Whether tossed about by the cold winter winds
Or wet by the morning dew
But tonight our courtship’s at an end
Between my love and me
So fare thee well my favorite girl
A long farewell to thee

Oh are you going away, my love?
Oh pray what will I do?
I’ll break through every bond of love
To go along with you.
And my parents, they might well forget
But surely they'll forgive
For from this hour I am resolved
Along with you to live. 

This talk of going away my love
Oh, how it breaks my heart
Come and let us married be
Before we have to part
Then with a kiss, the ring it was closed
And the wedding it's put on
From courtship's cares they are released
The two are joined as one. 

The Hexhamshire Lass 

Hey for the buff and the blue, 
Hey for the cap and the feather; 
Hey for the bonnie lass true, 
That lives in Hexhamshire. 

Through by the Saiby Syke, 
Over the moss and the mire, 
I’ll go to see my lass, 
That lives in Hexhamshire. 

Her father loves her well, 
Her mother loves her better; 
I love the lass mysel’, 
But the devil I can’t get at her. 

O, this love, this love, 
of this love I’m weary; 
Sleep I cannot get 
for thinking of my dearie 

My heart is like to break, 
My bosom it’s on fire, 
So well I love this lass 
That lives in Hexhamshire. 

Her petticoat’s of silk, 
And all wrapped round with siller, 
Her shoes are tied with tape; 
She’ll wait till I get to her. 

Were I where I would be, 
I would be beside her, 
But here awhile I will stay, 
No matter what betide her. 

Hey for the thick and the thin, 
Hey for the muck and the mire, 
Hey for the bonnie lass true, 
That lives in Hexhamshire. 

O Lady, for Thy Constancie 

O lady, for thy constancie, 
A faithfull servand sall I be, 
Thyn honour to defend; 
And I will surelie, for they saik, 
Just as the turtle for his maik, 
Love to my lyfis end. 

No pene or travell, feir nor dreid, 
Sall caus me to desist. 
And, ay as ye this letter reid, 
Remember hou we kist; 
Embracing, enlacing, 
In other teiris sueet. 
Sik blissing in kissing 
I quyt till we tua meit. 

Albeit my body be absent, 
My hairt remains vigilent 
To do your service true; 
Until I hant into the place 
Quhair I am wont to sie that face, 
My dolour do reneu. 

Then all my plesur is bot pane, 
My cairis they do incres; 
Vntill I sie thy face agane, 
I live in hevynes. 
In sleeping, still weeping, 
These nichts I ouerdryve; 
In murning, still turning, 
In thoghtis so pensityve. 

Jock Hawk 

To Glasga toon I went ae nicht to spend my penny fee, 
And a bonnie lass did soon consent to bear my company, 
I said I was a ploughman lad and a stranger to this toon, 
She said: "That needn’t hinder ye to jog it up and doon." 

So we happened on Jamaica Street down by the Broomielaw, 
And the organ lads played rich and sweet, the fiddlers ane or twa. 
And as we walked into the crowd I could hear the people say, 
“There goes Jock Hawk, he has a miss but he’ll repent the day”. 

So we ga’ed into a tavern then and I ca'd out for gin, 
And the lads and lassies all looked round, and smiled as we cam' in. 
The sailor lads all shook my hand, a welcome right and free 
And ilka toast that ere they gave was the bonnie young lass and me. 

Now the spree went on wi' mirth and sang till daylight did appear, 
And the bosun of the ship stood up and said, "Lads on deck appear!" 
The lassies gave a parting kiss, the lads all said goodbye, 
The hindmost ane as he went oot said: "Jock, you've a' to pay." 

Now my heart went down into my boots as he went out the door, 
And the landlord took ahold of me, said, “lad now, pay your score”. 
I reached my hand into my pouch, laid all my money down, 
And I kenn’d it wisnae near enough by the way that he did frown. 

And he took from me my watch and chain, my spleuchan and my knife, 
It’s a wonder that he didna take my wee bit spunk o' life. 
He took from me my Sunday Coat, my waistcoat and my shin, 
And as for my hat, I ne’er seen that since I first ca’d out for gin. 

So come a’ ye brisky young ploughman lads and a warning take from me, 
And ne’er go down to Glasgow town to spend your penny fee, 
For when I got out of that auld place sae naked and sae bare, 
I’ll ne’er gae down to Glesca town to spend the spree nae mair. 

Lass of Glencoe 

As I went a-walkin’ one evening in June, 
All the birds in the bushes were singin’ their tune, 
And a lovely wee lassie to me did appear, 
The fairest of maidens I ever had seen. 

Said I, “Lovely lassie, you have a sweet smile, 
And your braw, comely features my heart doth beguile, 
And if your affections on me you’ll bestow, 
I will bless this fine hour that we met in Glencoe”. 

“Young man,” she gave answer, “your suit I disdain, 
For I once had a sweetheart – MacDonald’s his name – 
He is gone to the wars now, ten years ago, 
But he promised one day to return to Glencoe”. 

“Perhaps your MacDonald regards not your name, 
But has placed his affections in some other one, 
He may not remember for all that you know 
The fairest young maiden that he left in Glencoe”. 

“O MacDonald would ne’er from his promise depart, 
For truth, love and honour reside in his heart, 
And if he ne’er returns then a maid I will go, 
But he’s promised one day to return to Glencoe”. 

And proving her constant, I pulled out a glove, 
Which at our last parting was a token of love. 
She fell into my arms and she wouldn’t let go, 
For she knew her MacDonald had returned to Glencoe. 

So be ye a hero, or some nobleman, 
Who has placed his affections in some other one, 
And the red clouds of war in the distance may glow, 
But we’ll stay here content at the pass of Glencoe.