Dinna think bonnie Lassie I'm game to have ye

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X:1 % T:Dinna think bonnie Lassie I'm gaun to leave you M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Brisk" B:Johnson - Scots Musical Museum, vol. 6 (1803, Song 556) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D A/|D<d {de}f>e|e>d d>B|A2 A>G|F2D2| e<e (e>d)|e>f e>f|(g>f) e>d|{c}B2A2| d<d {de}f>e|e>d d>B|A2 A>G|F2 D>F| G>A G>A|F>G F>G|E<E F>A|{c}B2 A2|| M:C L:1/8 "Slow"D>E D>F A>B (cA)|B>A d>F F2 E>D|E>e e>f e>d (e>f)| g>f e>d {c}B2A2|d>e f>e e>d (d<B)|A>B d>F F2 E>D| G>A G>A F>G F>G|E<E F>A B2 A||



DINNA THINK BONNIE LASSIE I'M GAME TO HAVE YE. AKA - O, dinna think, bonnie lassie, I'm gaun to leave you." Scottish, Air (cut time). The lyric (as "O, dinna think, bonnie lassie, I'm gaun to leave you") is by writer Hector MacNeil, and the song first printed in volume six of Johnson's Scots Musical Museum (1803), with the addition of a last verse penned by John Hamilton, an Edinburgh music-seller, who published the song on a single-sheet. It has been alleged that MacNeill saw a poem by Susanna Blamire that opens similarly to his poem, and that he either was inspired by her work to try his own on the theme, or that he appropriated her work and altered it. Stenhouse maintains that MacNeill, taking offense to Hamilton's added lines, refused to include "Dinna think bonnie lassie" in his collected Poetical Works, but one supposes MacNeill was also acceding to criticism engendered by comparison to Miss Blamire's song.

The words, attributed to MacNeill (with a nod to Hamilton) in the Musical Museum, go:

Oh, dinna think, bonnie lassie, I'm gaun to leave thee!
Dinna think, bonnie lassie, I'm gaun to leave thee;
Dinna think, bonnie lassie, I'm gaun to leave thee;
I'll tak a stick into my hand, and come again and see thee.

Far's the gate ye hae to gang; dark's the night, and eerie;
Far's the gate ye hae to gang; dark's the night, and eerie;
Far's the gate ye hae to gang; dark's the night, and eerie;
Oh, stay this night wi' your love, and dinna gang and leave me.

It's but a night and hauf a day that I'll leave my dearie;
But a night and hauf a day that I'll leave my dearie;
But a night and hauf a day that I'll leave my dearie;
Whene'er the sun gaes west the loch, I'll come again and see thee.

Dinna gang, my bonnie lad, dinna gang and leave me;
Dinna gang, my bonnie lad, dinna gang and leave me;
When a' the lave are sound asleep, I'm dull and eerie;
And a' the lee-lang night I 'm sad, wi' thinking on my dearie.

Oh, dinna think, bonnie lassie, I'm gaun to leave thee!
Dinna think, bonnie lassie, I'm gaun to leave thee;
Dinna think, bonnie lassie, I'm gaun to leave thee;
Whene'er the sun gaes out o' sight, I 'll come again and see thee.

Waves are rising o'er the sea; winds blaw loud and fear me;
Waves are rising o'er the sea; winds blaw loud and fear me;
While the winds and waves do roar, I am wae and drearie;
And gin ye lo'e me as ye say, ye winna gang and leave me.

Oh, never mair, bonnie lassie, will I gang and leave thee!
Never mair, bonnie lassie, will I gang and leave thee;
Never mair, bonnie lassie, will I gang and leave thee;
E'en let the world gang as it will, I'll stay at hame and cheer ye.

Frae his hand he coost his stick; "I winna gang and leave thee;"
Threw his plaid into the neuk; "Never can I grieve thee;"
Drew his boots, and flang them by; cried, "My lass, be cheerie;
I'll kiss the tear frae aff thy cheek, and never leave my dearie.

Susanna Blamire's poem begins:

O dinna think, my bonnie lass, that I'm gaun to leave thee!
I'll nobbet gae to yonder town, and I'll come and see thee;
Gin the night be ne'er sae dark, and I be ne'er sae weary, O!
I'll tak a staff into my hand, and come and see my dearie, O!

MacNeill's song, set to a variation of "Carrick's Rant" AKA "Clunie's Reel (1)" (parts reversed), was also set to the variant called "Smith's a Gallant Fireman (The)." Cumbrian musician John Rook's folk-processed title ("Dinna think bonnie Lassie I'm game to have ye") changes the meaning of MacNeill's words, and perhaps comes from a satire or variant lyric.



Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Johnson (The Scots Musical Museum, vol. 6), 1803; Song 556, pp. 574-575.

Recorded sources: -



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