[home]                     [song index]                         [about miriam]


(learned in 1961 from Bob Coltman)

staff with melody

It was a troop on Irish dragoons,
    come merchin' doon fron Fyvie-O,
And the ca'tain's fa'en in love wi' a lady lik' a dove,
    an' her name, it was ca'd Pretty Peggy-O!

Now there's many a bonny lass in the house o' Auchterless,
    there's many a bonny lass in the Gerrie-O!
There's many a bonny Jane in the streets o' Aberdeen,
    but the fairest of all is in Fyvie-O!

Come trippin' doon the stair, Pretty Peggy, my dear,
    come trippin' doon the stair, Pretty Peggy-O!
Come trippin' doon the stair, combin' back your yella hair,
    come and bid farewell to your laddie-O!

It's braw, oh, it's braw, a ca'tain's lady tae be,
    it's braw to be a ca'tain's lady-O,
It's braw to ride and rant, and to follow wi' the camp,
    and to march when your ca'tain he is ready-O!

It's I'll gie ye ribbons, love, and I'll gie ye rings,
    I'll gie ye necklaces on amber-O,
I'll gie ye petticoats wi' floonces tae the knee,
    gin ye'll convey me doon tae my chamber-O!

Fit wou'd your minny think did she hear the guineas clink,
    and the hautboys playin' all afore ye-O,
Little wad my minny think, though she heard the guineas clink,
    and I were to go wi' a sojer-O!

A sojer's wife I ne'er shall be,
    a sojer shall never enjoy me-O
I ne'er do intend to go to a foreign land,
    and I ne'er will marry a sojer-O!

The colonel cries, Mount, boys, mount,
    but the ca'tain he cries, Tarry-O!
O tarry for a while, just anither day or twa,
    for tae see if this lassie, she will marry-O!

I'll drink nae mair o' your guid claret wine,
    I'll drink nae mair o' your glasses-O!
For tomorrow is the day that we maun march away,
    so bid adieu to your lasses-O!

'Twas early in the morn that we did march awa',
    and oh, but the ca'tain he was sorry-O!
The drums they did beat o'er the bonny braes o' Gight (geet)
    and the band played, The Bonnie Lewes o' Fyvie-O!

It's lang ere we were tae auld Meldrum toon,
    we had our ca'tain to carry-O,
And lang ere we wan into bonny Aberdeen
    we had our ca'tain to bury-O!

O green grow the birks on bonny Ythanside,
    and low lie the lowlands i' Fyvie-O!
The ca'tain's name was Ned, and he died for a maid,
    he died for the chambermaid on Fyvie-O!

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)