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Och Hey! Johnny Lad

[ Roud V7525 ; Bodleian Roud V7525 ; Robert Tannahill]

Mirk sang Och Hey, Johnnie Lad in 1982 on their Springthyme album Tak a Dram Afore Ye Go. They noted:

This fine love song was composed by the Paisley weaver and poet Robert Tannahill (1774 to 1810) and was based on a traditional song with similar title and tune [Hey How Johnny Lad] and tune first published in Herd’s collection in 1776 and later in Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum in the 1790’s. The tune has had independent existence under the title The Lasses of the Ferry first published in 1764 in Bremner’s Collection of Reels and Country Dances.

Emily Smith sang Och Hey! Johnny Lad in 2006 on the Brechin All anthology The Complete Songs of Robert Tannahill Volume I.

Barbara Dymock sang a medley of the three songs Och Hey Johnny Lad, I’m O’er Young to Marry Yet, and Naebody Comin’ to Marry Me on her 2011 CD Hilbert’s Hotel.


Mirk sing Och Hey, Johnnie Lad

Och hey, Johnnie lad.
Ye’re no sae kind’s ye should hae been;
Och hey, Johnnie lad,
Ye never kept your tryst yestreen;
I waited lang beside the wood,
Sae wae and weary aa ma lane;
Och hey, Johnnie lad.
Ye’re no sae kind’s ye should hae been.

I looked by the whinny knowes,
I looked by the firs sae green,
I looked owre the spunkie-howe
And aye I thocht ye wad hae been;
The ne’er a supper crossed ma craig,
The ne’er a sleep has bleered ma een,
Och hey, Johnnie lad,
Ye’re no sae kind’s ye should hae been.

Gin ye were waitin by the wood,
Then I wis waitin by the thorn,
I thocht it wis the place we set.
And waited maist till dawning morn;
Sae be na vexed, ma bonnie lassie,
Let ma waitin stand for thine,
For we’ll awa tae Craigton shaw,
And seek the tryst we tint yestreen.