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  1. Bonnie Mae by Brian Buller

From the album The Riverbank Faerie

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Lyrics

Words & Music- Traditional
Arranged by Brian Buller & Ryan Eston Paul

Bonnie Mae a-shepherding has gone
To call the sheep to the fold
And aye, as she sang, Oh her bonny voice, it rang
Way over the tops of the downs, the downs
Way over the tops of the downs

There came a troop of gentlemen
As they were riding, riding by
And one of them has lighted down
And he’s asked of her the way, the way
And he’s asked of her the way

“Ride on, ride on, you rank riders
Your steeds are stout, Oh and strong
For ‘tis out of the fold I will not go
For fear you will do me wrong, me wrong
For fear you will do me wrong”

Now he’s taken her by the middle jip
And by the green gown, green gown sleeve
And there he’s had his will of her
And he’s asked of her no leave, no leave
And he’s asked of her no leave

“Oh I’ve ridden east and I’ve ridden west
And I’ve ridden o’er, o’er the downs
But the bonniest lass that ‘ere I saw
Is calling the sheep to the fold, the fold
Is calling the sheep to the fold”

Now she’s taken the milk pale on her head
And she’s gone lingering, lingering home
And all her father, Oh said to her
Was, “Daughter you’ve done me wrong, me wrong”
Was, “Daughter you’ve done me wrong”

Now twenty weeks have gone and past
Twenty weeks, oh and three
And the lassie began to fret and to frown
And to long for his twinkling eye-bright-eye
And to long for his twinkling eye

Now it came on a day, a bonny summer’s day
When she went out, out alone
That selfsame troop of gentlemen
Came riding o’er the downs, the downs,
Came riding o’er the downs

“Who got the babe with thee Bonnie Mae?
Who got the babe in thy arms?”
For shame she blushed, and aye, she said
“I’ve a good man of my own, my own,
I’ve a good man of my own”

“You lie, you lie, you bonny, bonny Mae
So loud I hear, hear you lie
Remember that misty, murky night
I lay in the fold with thee, with thee
I lay in the fold with thee”

Now he’s lighted off his berry-brown steed
He’s set the fair Mae, fair Mae on
“Go call out the fold, good father yourself
She’ll ne’er call them again, again,
She’ll ne’er call them again”

For he’s the Lord of Achentrioch
With fifty plough, oh and three
And he’s taken away the bonniest lass
In all of the south country, country,
In all of the south country.


Commentary by BB:
I was introduced to Bonnie Mae through
The Hour Before Dawn (2000) by Solas.
In addition to the group’s trademark instrumental
virtuosity, the album features the singing of Deirdre Scanlan,
whose ethereal and comforting voice encouraged
me to explore the emotional landscapes of this ballad.