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Bonny May lyrics

Bonny May a-shepherding has gone
To call the sheep to the fold
And as she sang, her bonny voice it rang
Right over the tops of the downs, downs,
Right over the tops of the downs.

There came a troop of gentlemen
As they were riding by
And one of them has lighted down
And he's asked of her the way, way,
And he's asked of her the way.

”Ride on, ride on, you rank riders,
Your steeds are stout and strong,
For it's out of the fold I will not go
For fear you do me wrong, wrong,
For fear you do me wrong.”

Now he's taken her by the middle jimp
And by the green gown sleeve,
And there he's had his will of her
And he's asked of her no leave, leave,
And he's asked of her no leave.

Now he's mounted on his berry brown steed,
He soon o'erta'en his men
And one and all cried out to him,
”Oh, master, you tarried long, long,
Oh, master, you tarried long.”

”Oh, I've ridden East and I've ridden West,
And I've ridden o'er the downs,
But the bonniest lass that ever I saw
She was calling her sheep to the fold, fold.”

She's taken the milk pail on her head
And she's gone lingering home.
And all her father said to her
Was, ”Daughter, you tarried long, long,
Oh, daughter, you tarried long.”

”Oh, woe betide your shepherd, father,
He takes no care of the sheep,
For he's builded the fold at the back of the down
And the fox has frightened me, me,
And the fox has frightened me.”

”Oh, there came a fox to the fold door
With twinkling eye so bold,
And ere he'd taken the lamb that he did
I'd rather he'd taken them all, all.”

Now twenty weeks were gone and past,
Twenty weeks and three,
The lassie began to fret and to frown
And to long for the twinkling eye, bright eye,
And to long for the twinkling eye.

Now it fell on a day, on a bonnie summer's day
That she walked out alone.
That self-same troop of gentlemen
Come a-riding over the down, down,
Come a-riding over the down.

”Who got the babe with thee, Bonny May,
Who got the babe in thy arms?”
For shame, she blushed, and aye, she said,
Was ”I've a good man of my own, own.”

”You lie, you lie, you Bonny, Bonny May,
So loud I hear you lie.
Remember the misty murky night
I lay in the fold with thee, thee,
I lay in the fold with thee.

Now he's mounted off his berry brown steed,
He's sat the fair May on.
”Go call out your kye, father, yourself,
She'll ne'er call them again, again,
She'll ne'er call them again.”

Oh, he's Lord of twenty plough of land,
Twenty plough and three,
And he's taken away the bonniest lass
In all the South country,
In all the South country.

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Thanks to Florence for submitting the lyrics.
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