The Trooper and the Fair Maid​/​Toddy MacPherson’s

from by IONA

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The Trooper and the Fair Maid/Toddy MacPherson’s -trad.Scottish
Since the band currently sports some good singers, we tackled this rousing Scottish ballad, which is probably from an English broadside. A version appears in the Skene Manuscript which dates to the first half of the seventeenth century telling a tale of seduction, impregnation and desertion – one of your less violent Scottish ballads! We segué into a tune that no one we know can identify. We first heard it played by the Tannahill Weavers, but they don’t know either! Bernard gave it this working title, then Kathleen invented a drink of mead and Irish whiskey by the same name and gave it validity...


A trooper lad came here at e’en
Frae riding he was weary.
A trooper lad came here at e’en
And the moon was shining clearly.

Lassie, I'll lie near ye yet,
Bonnie lassie, I'll lie near ye,
And I'll gar all your ribbons reel
In the morning 'ere I leave ye

She's ta'en the trooper by the hand
And led him tae the chamber.
She's gi'en him breid and wine tae drink
And his love, it flared like tinder.

She's made her bed baith wide and lang,
Made it like a lady.
She's pu'ed her petticoats o'er her heid
Crying, "Trooper, are ye ready?"

He's ta'en off his big top coat
Likewise his hat and feather.
He's ta'en his broadsword frae his side,
Oh an' he's laid doon aside her.

The trumpet sounds at Burreldales,
Sayin' man and horse mak' ready.
The drums are beat at stoneman hill,
Lads, leave yer mams and daddies.

The fifes do play at cromlech bank,
Let's leave the Lewes o' Fyvie!
The trooper tae the fair maid said,
"Bonnie lassie, I maun leave ye".

"Fan will ye come back again?”
“An' fan will we be married?"
"Fan frost an’ snow are warm as sun.”
“Oh it's then I will na tarry"

She's pu'ed her coatie o'er her heid
An' followed him doon thro' Stirling,
But she grew so fu' that she could na bow
And he's left her in Dunfermline.

Cheese and breid for carles and dames,
Corn and hay for horses,
Aye cups o' tea are for auld wives,
An' lads for bonnie lasses.


from Silver, released September 30, 2011
Barbara Tresidder Ryan - lead vocals, bouzouki, bodhrán
Bernard Argent - wooden flute, vocals
Chuck Lawhorn - bass guitar, vocals
Kathleen Larrick - vocals
Jim Queen - fiddle, banjo, vocals



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IONA Washington, D.C.

IONA has been taking its unique brand of traditional Celtic music to festivals, arts centers, schools & house concerts all over North America and Europe since 1986, blending music from the various Celtic traditions with stories and a little humor - Barbara Ryan (vocals, bouzouki, bodhran), Bernard Argent (flute, doumbek), Chuck Lawhorn (bass), Jim Queen (fiddle, banjo) & Kathleen Larrick (dance). ... more

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