Banks o' Skene, The

DESCRIPTION: "When I was just a rantin' girl, About the age of sixteen, I fell in love wi' a heckler lad Upon the banks o' Skene." The girl cuts her hair, puts on men's clothes, offers to be his apprentice. He sees through the disguise and offers to make her his wife
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1881 (Christie)
KEYWORDS: love courting clothes cross-dressing marriage pregnancy
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
GreigDuncan1 164, "The Banks o' Skene" (12 texts, 5 tunes)
Ord, p. 395, "The Banks o' Skene" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: W. Christie, editor, Traditional Ballad Airs (Edinburgh, 1881 (downloadable pdf by University of Edinburgh, 2007)), Vol II, pp. 154-155, "The Banks o' Skene" (1 tune)

Roud #5613
cf. "The Soldier Maid" (theme)
NOTES [129 words]: GreigDuncan1: "Learnt from father more than fifty years ago. Noted 1905." - BS
Christie: "Though the words and music ... are scarcely worth being preserved, the Editor thinks it is right to give them, as they were favourites, for years, in the Counties of Moray and Aberdeen." - BS
This seems to exist in two versions: One very short, from Ord, which matches the description above; the other, much longer, known from Grieg, in which the heckler (flax-dresser) takes the girl as an apprentice and the other girls find the new apprentice attractive. But so does the heckler himself, getting her drunk and having his way with her. In either case, they end up married. The long version is very reminiscent of things like "The Soldier Maid" and even "The Handsome Cabin Boy." - RBW
Last updated in version 2.5
File: Ord395A

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