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When I Was No But Sweet Sixteen

Scotland & England.
Words: from oral tradition, and from an 18th century printed source.
Tune: Johnny's Grey Breeks, ca. 1735.
MIDI


    When I was no but sweet sixteen,
    With beauty just a-blooming o,
    It's little, little did I think
    At nineteen I'd be greeting o,
         For the ploughboy lads, they're gey braw lads,
         but they're false and they're deceiving o,
         For they'll take your all,
         And they'll gang awa',
         And they leave their lasses grieving o.

    O I was fond of company,
    And gave the ploughboys freedom o,
    To kiss and clap me in the dark,
    When all my friends were sleeping o,
         For the ploughboy lads, they're gey braw lads,
         but they're false and they're deceiving o,
         For they'll take your all,
         And they'll gang awa',
         And they leave their lasses grieving o.

    But if I had kent that I now ken
    And ta'en my mother's bidding o,
    I wouldna be sitting by our fireside
    Crying hushabye my bairnie o,
         For the ploughboy lads, they're gey braw lads,
         but they're false and they're deceiving o,
         For they'll take your all,
         And they'll gang awa',
         And they leave their lasses grieving o.

    It's hushaba for I'm your ma,
    But the Lord kens who's your daddy o,
    But I'll take care and I'll beware
    Of the ploughboys in the gloaming o,
         For the ploughboy lads, they're gey braw lads,
         but they're false and they're deceiving o,
         For they'll take your all,
         And they'll gang awa',
         And they leave their lasses grieving o.