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Hie, Jeannie, Hie

[ Roud - ; trad.]

Ray Fisher sang Hie, Jeannie, Hie in 1991 on her Saydisc CD Traditional Songs of Scotland. She commented in her album’s liner notes:

Another song in the ‘young lassie marries old man’ mode. This time the available means of disposal of the aged spouse extend to drowning him in a well or grinding him in a mill! The girl decides to tie him to a loose strand of straw and let the wind blow him away, knowing that he has neither the strength nor the inclination to respond.


Ray Fisher sings Hie, Jeannie, Hie

My faither was a gentleman and a gentleman was he,
But he’s wed me tae an auld man, o, threescore years and three.

Chorus (after each verse):
And sing hie, Jeannie, hie, and sing lo, Jeannie, lo,
Ye can never mak a singin’ bird oot o’ a hoodie crow.

Before I’d hae an auld man, wi’ thirty ploos and land,
I’d raither hae a young man, wi’ only hat in hand.

For whan we gang tae bed at e’en, he turns tae the wa’,
And ne’er a hand he lays on me, till mornin’ licht micht da’.

Now some neebors hae advised me tae droon him in a well,
Some ithers hae advised me for tae grind him in a mill.

But I hae ta’en my ain advice, and borne him tae a plain,
And I’ve tied him tae a winnel strae and he’ll ne’er come back again.