Celtic Lyrics Corner > Artists & Groups > Solas > The Hour Before Dawn > Bonnie Mae

The Hour Before Dawn Bonnie Mae
Credits: Traditional; arranged by Solas
Appears On: The Hour Before Dawn
Language: English


Bonnie Mae a-shepherding has gone
To call the sheep to the fold
And aye, as she sang, her bonny voice, it rang
Right over the tops of the downs, downs
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, the way
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'll do me wrong, wrong
Fear you'll do me wrong"

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

"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
Is calling her sheep to the fold"

She has taken the milk pail on her head
And she's gone lingering home
And all her father said to her
Was, "Daughter, you've done me wrong, wrong
Daughter, you've done me wrong"

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

Now it fell on a day, and a bonny summer's day
For she walked out alone
That selfsame troop of gentlemen
Came riding o'er the downs, downs
Riding o'er the downs

"Who got the babe with thee, Bonnie Mae?
Who got the babe in thy arms?"
For shame she blushed and aye, she said
"Oh I've a good man of my own"

"You lie, you lie, you bonny, bonny Mae
So loud I hear you lie
Remember the misty, murky night
I lay in the fold with thee, with thee
I lay in the fold with thee

Now he's lighted off his berry-brown steed
He's set the fair Mae on
"Go call out your fold, good father, yourself
She'll ne'er call them again, again
She'll ne'er call them again"

For he's the Lord of Achentrioch
With fifty plough and three
And he's taken away the bonniest lass
In all the south country, country
In all the south country