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Up Among the Heather

[ Roud 1506 ; Ballad Index FVS157 ; trad.]

Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor sang Up Among the Heather in 1962 on their album with The Galliards, A Rovin'.

Elizabeth Stewart sang Up Among the Heather in 2004 on her CD Binnorie. Thomas A. McKean commented in the album's booklet:

This relatively little-known local song, set on the slopes of Bennachie near Inverurie, is a light-hearted account of courtship and mishap. Found almost exclusively in Traveller communities, it has parallels with the more ribald The Cuckoo's Nest.

After hearing a tape of Elizabeth and her sister Jane singing Up Among the Heather, Ewan MacColl used the song's tune for his song Come All Ye Fisher Lassies.

Lyrics

Elizabeth Stewart sings Up Among the Heather

Chorus (after each verse):
It's up among the heather on the hill o Bennachie
Twas there I met a bonnie lassie kilted tae the knee
When a bumbee stung me richt below the knee
And we baith gaed haem a-murnin fae the hill o Bennachie.

Said I tae my lassie, Whaur are ye gaun tae spend the day?
Oh I'm gaun tae spend the day on the hill o Bennachie
Whaur the lads and the lassies they aa sit sae free
Amongst the bloomin heather on the hill o Bennachie.

As I wis a-walkin on the hill o Bennachie
Twas there I sat a bonnie lassie sitting on ma knee
I took her and whurled her and aye she said tae me,
O Jock we'll ging a-wanderin on the hill o Bennachie.

Said I tae my lassie, Will you tak my advice?
Never let a sodger laddie kiss ye mair than twice
For aa the time he's kissin ye he's makin up a plan
For tae hae anither rattle at yer aul tin can.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread DT Study: Up Among the Heather.