Bonny Boy (4)

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BONNY BOY [4]. English, Scottish; Air (3/4 time). D Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The one verse to the tune was collected in Orkney by Colonel Balfour.

My bonny boy to the Indies has gone,
And left me to sigh and to mourn;
But if he loves another lass better than me,
I hope he will never return
I hope he will never return.

Anne G. Gilchrist [Gilchrist & White, "Ancient Orkney Melodies", JEFDSS, vol. 3, No. 4, Dec. 1939] noted that an early version of the same song begins:

Once I did love a bonny brave bird
And thought he had been all my own,
But he has loved another far better than me
And has taken his flight and is flown,
Brave Boys,
And has taken his flight and is flown.

Gilchrist compares the song to "Henry Martin" and "Bonny Bird", and says the "Bonny Bird" can be traced to the reign of Charles II.

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