Bogie's Bonnie Belle

(Dick Gaughan version)

Words & Music:

Traditional Scottish


This haunting Scottish ballad is well worth learning in the original Scots dialect.  It works a capella, in English folk guitar style or what have you.  Enjoy!


   D     G     Em     A        D      Em      D

As A cam in by Huntly Toun ae mornin for tae fee,

       Em    A       C             G     Em    A

A fell in wi Bogie o Cairnie an wi him A did agree.


For tae caa his twa best horses or cairt or harrow or plou,

Or dae onything about fairm wark a very weil cud do.


Auld Bogie had a dochter wha's name wis Isabelle.

She wis the lily o the valley an the primrose o the dell.


Whan she went out walkin, she'd tak me for her guide.

Doun by the burn o Cairnie tae watch smaa fishes glide.


Bit whan five lang months wis past an gane, this lassie lost her blume.

The reid fell frae her rosie cheeks an her eyes began tae swoon.


An whan nine lang months wis past & gane, she brocht forth tae me a son.

An A wis quickly caad for tae see whit cud be done.


A said that A wad mairrie her; bit, och, that wadnae dae.

He said, "Ye're nae match for ma bonnie Belle an she's nae match for ye."


Sae nou she's marriet tae a traiveller chiel wha bides in Huntly Toun.

He sells pots an pans an paraffin lamps an he tramps the kintra roun.


An if she's gotten a better match auld Bogie cannae tell.

Sae fare weil ye lauds o Huntlyside an Bogie's bonnie Belle.


The meanings of many Scots words can be inferred from context or similarity to English words with a common root. For the more difficult used in this song, here's a brief glossary.

fee:  take employment (seasonal farm work)

caa:  drive

cheil:  fellow

kintra:  country

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