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Bonny May
Bonny May a shepherding has gone
To call her sheep to the fold,
And as she sang her bonny voice it rang,
Right over the tops of the downs, downs,
Right over the tops of the downs.

There came a troop of gentlemen
As they were riding by.
 And one of them has lighted down
And  he's asked of her the way, way,
And has asked of her the way.

Ride on ride on you rank riders
Your steeds are stout and strong
For its out of the fold I will not go
For fear you do me wrong, wrong
For fear you do me wrong.

Now He's taken her by the middle jimp
And by the green gown sleeve,
And there he's has had his will of her,
And he's asked of her no leave, leave
He's asked of her no leave.

Now he's mounted on his berry brown steed
 He'll soon ordain his men
And one and all cried out to him
Oh master you done been long, long
Oh master you done been long

Oh I've ridden east and I've ridden west
And I've ridden over the downs
But the bonniest lass that ever I saw
She was callin her sheep to the fold, fold

She's taken the milk pail on her head
And she's gone lingering home
And all her father said to her was
Daughter you done it long, long
Oh daughter you done it long

Oh woe be to your shepherd father
He takes no care of the sheep
For he fiddled at the fold at the back of the down
And a fox has frightened me, me
And a fox has frightened me

For there came a fox to the fold door
With twinkling eye so bold,
And there he's taken the lamb that he did,
Oh but rather be taken them all, all.

Now twenty weeks were gone and past
Twenty weeks and three
And the lassy began to fret and frown
And long for the twinkling eye bright guy
And to long for the twinkling eye

Now it fell on a day on a bonny summers day
That she walked out alone
that some say a true but gentleman
come  a riding over the downs
come a riding over the downs

Who got the babe with thee Bonny May
Who got the babe in thy arms
For shame she blushed and aye she said
Oh I've good man of my own now
I've  good man of my own

You lie, you lie, you Bonny Bonny May.
So loud I hear you lie.
Remember the misty ,murky night
I lay in the fold with thee, thee,
I lay in the fold with thee.

Now he's mounted on his berry brown steed
He set the fair maid on
Go call out your ci you father yourself
She'll never lamb again, again
She'll never lamb again

Oh he's lord of twenty plowmen
Twenty plowmen three
And he's taken away the bonniest lass
In all the South County, Country
In all the South Country

  It was on an evening sae saft and sae clear
     A bonny lass was milking the kye,
   And by came a troup of gentlemen,
    And rode the bonny lassie by.

    Then one of them said unto her,
  Bonny lass, prythee shew me the way:
  O if I do sae, it may bree me wae,
   For langer I dare nae stay.

 But dark and misty was the night
  Before the bonny lass came hame:
   Now where hae you been, my ae doughter?
  I am sure you was nae your lane.

  O father, a tod has come oer your lamb,
  A gentleman of high degree,
   And ay whan he spake he lifted his hat,
   And bonny, bonny, blinkit his ee.

   Or eer six months were past and gane,
 Six months but and other three,
   The lassie began to grow pale and wan.
  And think lang for his blinkin ee.

 O wae be to my father's shepherd,
  An ill death may he die!
               He bigged the bughts sae far frae hame,
         And trysted a gentleman to me!

    It fell upon another fair evening
      The bonny lassie was milking her kye
           And by came the troop of gentlemen,
       And rode the bonny lassie by.

   Then one of them stopt, and said to her,
         Whae's aught that baby ye are wi?
        The lassie began for to blush, and think,
       To a father as good as ye.

   O had your tongue, my bonny may,
     Sae loud I hear you lie!
     O dinae you mind the misty night
          I was in the bught with thee?

    Now he's come aff his milk-white steed,
     And he has taen her hame:
        Now let your father bring hame the kye
       You neer mair shall a them agen.

   He was the laird of Auchentrone,
     With fifty ploughs and three,
       And he has gotten the bonniest lass
   In a' the south countrie.

I learned the 1st version from a June Tabor album in the 70s
It is a wonderful song to hear and to sing.

In the notes on the old LP sleave it gives June Tabor's history of this song and she notes
that many versions of this song are known and that she has combined a number
 of verses from different versions.

This song is related to Broom of Cowdenknowes and Queen Among The Heather.