DESCRIPTION: Bonnie Jean meets Robie, "the flower and pride of a' the glen." He courts her and asks her to "leave the mammie's cot And learn to tent the farms wi' me?" "At length she blush'd a sweet consent And love was aye between them twa"
AUTHOR: Robert Burns
EARLIEST DATE: before 1887 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(1627))
KEYWORDS: seduction farming
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
GreigDuncan7 1335, "There Was a Maid and She Was Fair" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: James Kinsley, editor, Burns: Complete Poems and Songs (shorter edition, Oxford, 1969) #414, pp. 551-553, "A Ballad" [Bonnie Jean] (1 text, from 1793)
Bodleian, Harding B 25(1627), "Robie and Jeanie" ("There was a lass, and she was fair"), G. Walker, jun. (Durham), 1834-1886; also Harding B 15(264a), "Ronnie and Jeanie"
NOTES: GreigDuncan7: "Burns's song was written for a traditional tune which has been listed as "untraced"; it seems that this fragment, both words and music, is a version of his source." Burns's text is the source of the description. The Bodleian broadside texts are almost identical to Burns's text.
Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (New Lanark,2005): "Jean McMurdo, daughter of John McMurdo of Drumlanrig ... is said to have been the heroine of this ballad song." - BS
Last updated in version 2.5
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.