(Trad./ Lyrics, some from 17th century; Lyrics and
Melody collected 1906 as "Waly, Waly")
Modern versions aka WATER IS WIDE (see separate entry)
WALE' WALE' GIN LOVE BE BONNY
(First Collected by Walter Thompson - 1725)
And wale' wale' up yon Bank,
And wale' wale' down yon brae.
And wale' wale' by yon River's side,
Where my love and I was wont to gae.
Wale' wale' gin Love be bonny,
A little while when it's new.
But when it's old, it waxes cauld,
And wears away, like morning Dew.
I leant my back unto an Oak,
I thought it was a trusty tree.
But first it bow'd and sine it Brake
And sae did my true love to me.
When Cockle Shells turn Silver Bells,
and Mussles grow on ev'ry tree,
When Frost and Snaw shall warm us a'
Then shall my Love prove true to me.
The water is wide and I can't cross over
And neither have I wings to fly wings
Build me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row My love and I
as WALY, WALY, GIN LOVE BE BONNY
O Waly, waly (a lament – "woe is me") up the bank,
And waly, waly doun the brae (hill),
And waly, waly, yon burn-side (riverside),
Where I and my love wont to gae.
I lean'd my back into an aik (oak),
I thocht it was a trusty tree;
But first it bow'd, and syne (soon) it brak (broke),
Sae my true love did lightly me.
O waly, waly, but love be bonnie (beautiful),
A little time while it is new,
But when 'tis auld (old), it waxeth cauld (cold),
And fades away like the morning dew.
O wherefore should I busk my heid (adorn my head)?
Or wherefore should I kame (comb) my hair?
For my true love has me forsook,
And says he'll never love me mair (more).
Now Arthur Seat shall be my bed,
The sheets shall ne'er be fyl'd by me,
Saint Anton's well shall be my drink,
Since my true love has forsaken me.
Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw (blow),
And shake the green leaves off the tree?
O gentle death, when wilt thou come?
For of my life I am weary.
'Tis not the frost, that freezes fell,
Nor blawing snaws (snow) inclemency,
'Tis not sic cauld (such cold) that makes me cry,
But my love's heart grown cauld to me.
When we cam in by Glasgow town,
We were a comely sight to see;
My love was clad in the black velvet,
And I my sell in cramasie (crimson).
But had I wist (known), before I kiss'd,
That love had been sae ill to win,
I'd lock my heart in a case of gold,
And pin'd it with a silver pin.
Oh, oh! if my young babe were born,
And set upon the nurse's knee,
And I my sell were dead and gane,
For a maid again I'll never be.
(Contributed by =Ae= - June 2015)