Bonnie Brown Hair (The Punters)

It being early one fine summer's morning,
Just a little before it was day;
It being down by the banks of a river,
I heard a fair maiden to sing.
And I stood there in greatest amazement,
For to gaze at this charming one fair;
She appeared to be brighter than Venus,
'Twas the maid with the bonnie brown hair.

Well, her eyes sure they shone like the diamonds,
And her cheeks like red roses in bloom;
And her skin was a white as the lily,
And her breath had the rarest perfume.
And a dress of the fine speckled velvet,
This charming fair dame she did wear;
And strands of fine gold and find silver,
Were entwined in her bonnie brown hair.

For a long time we courted each other,
Till at length we named our wedding day;
Then one day while conversing together,
The charming fair dame she did say:
Oh, 'tis I have another far better,
My land and my fortune to share;
So good luck to you now and forever,
Said the maid with the bonnie brown hair.

So at length I went over the ocean,
Being bound for the fair land of Spain;
Some were singing and dancing for pleasure,
But mine was a heart full of pain.
As the ship she sailed down to the river,
I spied my own darling so fair;
So content in the arms of another,
Was the maid with the bonnie brown hair.

So good luck to you now and forever,
For perhaps I will see you no more;
But when I'm in some far foreign nation,
I will think on my own native shore.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a mid-19th-century British broadside ballad, The Lass With Her Jet Braided Hair, published by W Pratt (Birmingham) c.1850, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 20(92) ....####

This variant arranged and recorded by The Punters (The Punters, 1996).

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