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Young Benjie

Scotland/England border.
The words date from about 1803.
The tune from 1816.

    Of all the maids of fair Scotland,
    The fairest was Marjorie,
    And young Benjie was her own true love,
    And a dear true love was he.

    And wow but they were lovers dear,
    And loved full constantly,
    But ay the more when they fell out,
    The sorer was their plea.

    And they have quarrelled on a day,
    Till Marjorie's heart grew woe,
    And she said she'd choose another love,
    And let young Benjie go.

    And he was stout and proud hearted,
    And thought o't bitterly,
    And he's gone by the wan moonlight
    To meet his Marjorie.

    Then soft she smiled and said to him,
    O what ill have I done ?
    He took her in his arms two
    And threw her o'er the linn.

    The stream was strong, the maid was stout
    And loth, loth to be dang,
    But e'er she won the Lowden banks
    Her fair colour was wan.

    Then up bespake her eldest brother,
    O see na you what I see ?
    And out then spake her second brother,
    It's our sister Marjorie.

    Then they've ta'en up the comely corpse,
    And laid it on the ground.
    O who has killed our own sister,
    And how can he be found ?

    The night it is her low lykewake,
    The morn her burial day,
    And we maun watch at murk midnight
    And hear what she will say.

    About the middle of the night
    The cocks began to crow,
    And at the dead hour of the night
    The corpse began to throw.

    O who has done the wrong, sister,
    Or dared the deadly sin,
    Who was so stout, and feared no dout
    As throw you o'er the linn ?

    Young Benjie was the only man
    That did my body win,
    He was so stout and proud hearted,
    He threw me o'er the linn.

    Shall we young Benjie head, sister,
    Shall we young Benjie hang ?
    Or shall we pike out his two grey een
    And punish him ere he gang ?

    You mauna Benjie head, brothers,
    You mauna Benjie hang,
    But you maun pike out his two grey een
    And punish him ere he gang.

    Tie a green gravat around his neck,
    And lead him out and in,
    And the best ae servant about your house
    To wait young Benjie on.

    And aye at every seven year's end
    You'll take him to the linn,
    For that's the penance he must drie
    To scug his deadly sin.

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