Bonny at Morn

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BONNY AT MORN. Scottish, English; Air (6/4 time). England, Northumberland. G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB.

The sheep's in the meadow,
The kye's in the corn,
Thou's ower land in they bed
Bonny at morn.
Canny at night,
Bonny at morn,
Thou's ower lang in thy bed,
Bonny at morn. .... (John Bell)

"The song 'Bonny at Morn' gives us a pretty picture of family life. The baby awakes a little too early, but the big lad and the big lass are loath to rise; hence the interjaculatory phrases 'Thou's ower lang in thy bed' in the midst of the song" (Stokoe).

"Bonny at Morn" [Roud 3064] was a popular song in the north of England and in Scotland. The title appears in Henry Robson's list of popular Northumbrian song and dance tunes, published c. 1800 and the tune was entered into the c. 1812 music manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician John Bell [1] (1773-1864). An alternate name for the song may be "We're a' Laid Idle wi' Keeping the Bairn," a title that appears in publisher Henry Robson's c. 1800 list of popular Northumbrian songs and tunes. It is the beginning line of one of the later stanzas of "Bonny at Morn." 20th century classical coomposer Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) set the tune for high voice and harp as one of his "Eight Folk Song Arrangements."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; pp. 88-89.

Recorded sources:




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