Wayward Wife (The)
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WAYWARD WIFE, THE. AKA and see "Bide Ye Yet (2)," "O that I had ne'er been married," "Crowdie," "Three Times Crowdie in One Day." Scottish, Air. The words to the song were written by Janet Graham (1723–1805) of Dumfries, eldest daughter of W. Graham of Shaw. She was born at Shaw, in the small by picturesque valley of Dryfe, in 1724. She is described as "a maiden lady who lived to a considerable age, although much afflicted by an asthmatic complaint, to which she ultimately became victim. Being naturally of a cheerful disposition, she often attempted to beguile her sufferings by composing Scottish songs and poems of humour" [Stenhouse]. Allan Cunningham remarked: "She was a fine dancer in her youth; Lord Hopetoun was so much charmed with her graceful movements and the music of her feet that he inquired in what school she had been taught? 'In my mother's wash-tub,' was the answer."
It is the only song that can be safely ascribed to her and was first published in Herd's collection. The chorus is probably, but not certainly, more ancient than the rest of the song. The chorus goes:
Sae bide you yet, and bide you yet,
Ye little ken what's to betide you yet.
The half of that will gane you yet,
If a wayward wife obtain you yet.
Source for notated version:
Fraser (Airs and Melodies), 1816; Nos. 144, 184, and 210.
Gow (Complete Repository, Part 3), 1806; p. 11 (2nd tune).
Gow (Vocal Melodies of Scotland), 1822; Pt. 2, p. 35.
Gilchrist and White, “Ancient Orkney Melodies,” Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, vol. 3, no. 4, 1939, p. 245 (as "Crowdie" ).
Johnson (Scots Musical Museum, vol. 6), 1803; No. 593.
Scottish Country Dance Book, Book 13, 1951; No. 8.
McDonald (A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs), 1784; Air 25. p. 37.
Smith (Scottish Minstrel, vol. 5), c. 1821; pp. 82–83.
Stenhouse (Illustrations of the Lyric Poetry and Music of Scotland), 1853; p. 101.