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The Bonnie Wee Lassie Who Never Said No

[ Roud 2903 ; Ballad Index DTnevsay ; trad.]

Jeannie Robertson sang The Bonnie Wee Lassie Who Never Said No to Peter Kennedy and Alan Lomax in her home in Aberdeen in 1953. This recording was included on the anthology Songs of Seduction (The Folk Songs of Britain Volume 2; Caedmon 1961; Topic 1968), A recording made in 1955 was released in 1957 on her Riverside album Songs of a Scots Tinker Lady. Another recording made by Bill Leader in 1959 was released in the same year on her eponymous Topic album Jeannie Robertson, in 1966 on the Topic sampler A Prospect of Scotland (Topic Sampler No 5), and in 1998 on the Topic anthology They Ordered Their Pints of Beer and Bottles of Sherry (The Voice of the People Series Volume 13).

John Maguire sang Bonnie Wee Lassie That Never Said No on his 1973 Leader album Come Day, Go Day, God Send Sunday.

Ray Fisher sang The Bonnie Wee Lassie That Never Said No in 1982 on her Folk-Legacy album Willie's Lady. She commented in the accompanying booklet:

A fine song from the singing of Jeannie Robertson. There are many songs sung mainly by men, about young women outwitting them—this one redresses the balance a little. I feel the tune of this song has an Irish flavour.

Tom Spiers sang Bonnie Wee Lassie at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival, Collessie, Fife, in May 2008. This recording was included a year later on the Festival CD Grand to Be a Working Man (Old Songs & Bothy Ballads Vol. 5).

Lyrics

Ray Fisher sings The Bonnie Wee Lassie That Never Said No

I come till a cross and I met a wee lass.
Said I, “My wee lass, are ye willin' tae go
Tak' share o' a gill?" She said, "Sir, I will
For i'm the wee lassie who never said no.”

So intae an alehoose we merrily did go
And we never did rise till the cock it did crow.
And it's glass after glass we merrily did toss
Tae the bonnie wee lassie who never said no.

The landlady opened the door and come in,
She opened the door and come in wi' a smile
And she's lifted a chair wi' freedom and air,
“Here's a health tae the lass that can jigget in style.”

Well, the drink they took in, bein' the best o' the gin,
Me bein' myself and sober tae view.
And it's glass after glass they merrily did toss
Till the lass and the landlady filled theirsel's fu'.

“Look intae yon pocket,” the lassie she said,
“You are two and six for tae pay for your bed.
And for layin' me doon you owe me a crown,
Look intae your pocket,” the lassie she said.

Put my hand in her pocket and five pound I took.
Thinks I tae myself, “I will bundle and go.”
And I bade her goodbye, but she made no reply,
This bonnie wee lassie who never said no.