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Polwart on the Green

[ Roud 8407 ; Bodleian Roud 8407 ; Allan Ramsey (1686-1758)]

Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs

Jean Redpath sang Polwarth on the Green on her 1977 album Song of the Seals. She noted:

Allan Ramsay was the author of this gentle proposition and it may be found in the Orpheus Caledonius. I learned it from the singing of Rory and Alec McEwen.

macAlias (Gill Bowman and Karine Polwart) sang Polwart on the Green in 2000 on their Greentrax album Highwired. They noted:

Credited in The Scots Musical Museum to Captain John Drummond McGrigor of Bochaldie and initially published in Allan Ramsey's Tea Table Miscellany in 1724, it remarks on the rather saucy goings on in the small Scottish Borders village now called Polwarth. If only life were as exciting in twenty-first century Edinburgh!

Lyrics

Polwart on the Green in Hert's
Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs
macAlias sing Polwart on the Green

At Polwart on the green,
If you'll meet me the morn,
Where lasses do conveen,
To dance about the thorn;
A kindly welcome you shall meet,
Frae her wha likes to view,
A lover and a lad complete,
The lad and lover, you.

At Polwart on the green,
Gin you'll meet me the morn,
Where lads and lassies do convene,
Tae dance aroond the thorn;
A kindly welcome you shall meet,
Frae her wha likes to view,
A lover and a lad complete,
The lad and lover, you.

Let dorty dames say Na,
As lang as e'er they please,
Seem caulder than the sna',
While inwardly they bleeze;
But I will frankly shaw my mind,
And yield my heart to thee;
Be ever in the captive kind,
That langs na to be free.

Let dorty dames say na,
As lang as e'er they please,
Seem caulder than the snaw,
While inwardly they bleeze;
But I will frankly show my mind,
And yield my heart tae thee;
Be ever tae the captive kind,
That langs na tae be free.

At Polwart on the green,
Amang the new-mawn hay,
With sangs and dancing keen,
We'll pass the heartsome day.
At night, if beds be o'er thrang laid,
And thou be twin'd of thine,
Thou shalt be welcome, my dear lad,
To tak a part of mine.

At Polwart on the green,
Amang the new-mawn hay,
Wi sangs and dancin keen,
We'll pass the leas lang day.
At nicht, if beds be o'erthrawn lane,
And ye be twined o thine,
Ye shall be welcome, my guit lad,
Tae tak a pairt o mine.