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GUEST,Reiver 2 Scots words in Flower of Northumberland (20) Scots words in Flower of Northumberland 12 Jan 10


One of my favorite songs is The Flower of Northumberland, [sometimes listed as The Fair Flower of Northumberland]. I want to make sure that the Scots words in the lyrics I have are correct in meaning and useage. [My attempts at English translation are in [brackets]. Any corrections or comments would be welcome.

THE FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND

1] The Provost's daughter was walkin' alane [alone]
    (Oh, but her love 'twas easy won,)
   When she heard a Scots prisoner a-makin' his maen [moan = lament]
    (Aye, she was the flooer [flower] o' Northumberland.

2] He said, "If I had a lassie tae [to] set me free,
    (Oh, gin [if = although] her love 'twas easy won,)
   I would mak [make] her a lady o' high degree,
    'Ere she loosen me oot [out] o' this prison sae strang [strong]."

3] And she's awa'[away] ben [inside] tae [to] her faether's bedstock*
    (Oh, but her love 'twas easy won)
   And she's stolen the keys for mony [many] braw [brave] locks
    And loosen'd him oot o' his prison sae [so] strang.

4] And she's awa' ben tae her faether's staBLE,
    (Oh, but her love 'twas easy won)
   And she's stolen a steed that was baith [both] fleet and able,
    Aye, tae hurl [ride fast] them on tae bonnie Scotland.

5] As they were a-ridin' across the Scots moor
    He said, "Oh, but your love 'twas easy won,
Gae doon frae [from] your horse, you're a brazen-faced whoor [whore]
   Although you're the floor o' Northumberland."

6] "For I have a wife in my ain [own] coun-ter-ee,
    Oh, but your love 'twas easy won,
   And I cannae dae nothin' wi' a lassie like ye,
    So ye'll need tae gae back tae Northumberland.

7] "A cook in your kitchen I surely will be.
    Although my love 'twas easy won,
   For I cannae gae hame tae my ain coun-ter-ee,
    Although I'm the floor o' Northumberland."

8] A cook in my kitchen ye cannae weel [well] be,
    (Oh, but your love 'twas easy won),
    For my Lady she winnae [would not] hae servants like ye,
      E'en though you're the floor o' Northumberland."

9] But laith [loath] was he yon lassie tae taen [take].
    (Oh, but her love 'twas easy won.)
    So he's hired her a horse and he's hired an old man
    And he's sent her back hame [home] tae Northumberland.

10] But when she got in her faether did froon [frown],
    'Said, "Oh but your love 'twas easy won,
    Tae gang [go] wi' a Scotsman when you're barely sixteen.
      "Aye, and e'en you're the floor o' Northumberland."

11] But when she got in her maether [mother] did smile,
      'Said, "Oh, but your love 'twas easy won,
    But you're nae the first wha' the Scots hae beguiled,
      And you're welcome back hame tae Northumberland.

12] "Ye winnae [will not] want breid [bread] and ye winnae want wine,
      Oh, but your love 'twas easy won,
    And ye winnae want siller [silver] tae buy a man wi' [with]
      And, aye, you're the floor o' Northumberland."

I think I've got most of the words fairly close, but in verse 3, I'm confused about "bed stock." The only thing I can think of is the English "bedstead", but I can't find "stock" in the Scots Glossary here on Mudcat. Also, in the last verse, can someone explain the context of the mother's reference to her daughter's ability to "buy a man"? Is it just a reassurance that because she's from a wealthy family, and because she's attractive [the "floor o' Northumberland"!]she'll have no trouble finding a husband in spite of her amour with a married Scotsman?

Reiver 2


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