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Glenlogie


There was nine and nine horsemen rode through Banchory fair
And bonnie Glenlogie was the floo'er o' a' there. (twice)

There was nine and nine ladies sat in the Queen's dine,
And Bonnie Jeannie o' Bethelnie was the floo'er o' twice nine.

She has called his foot-boy that walked by his side,
Saying, 'Who is your master and where does he bide?'

'He is styled Glenlogie when he is at home
But he's of the noble Gordons and his name is Lord John'.

'Glenlogie, Glenlogie, if ye will prove kind,
A maiden's love laid on you, must she die in her prime?'

He's turned aboot lichtly as Gordons dae a',
'My thanks, Lady Jean, my love's promised awa''.

She has called her father's chaplain, a man of great skill,
And he has wrote a letter and indited it well.

When Glenlogie got the letter a licht lauch gied he
But ere he read it over, a tear dimmed his e'e.

'Go saddle my black horse and bring it to the green'.
But ere they had it ready he was twa mile him leen.

Pale and wan was she when Glenlogie gaed in,
But red and rosy grew she when she kent it wes him.

The 'gay', the 'gey', the 'great' and the 'noble' Gordons, one of the principal families of the North-East, have enough in their history to provide themes for four score ballads. As it is, their name resounds through such famous songs as Edom o' Gordon, The Baron o' Brackley, Geordie and Willie Macintosh, and in many versions of Glenlogie it is the family name of both the hero and the heroine. Although the text illustrates very well the ballad maker's habit of 'thinking in balances, antitheses, appositions and parallelisms' and although it can be shown to be largely made up of a sequence of commonplaces, this ballad has as strongly marked a personal identity as any; young Glenlogie who 'turns about lichtly, as Gordons dae a'', and Jeannie who gets her father's chaplain to write her love letter for her are flesh and blood characters, realized with a quite amazing economy.


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