From the recording Jefferson and Liberty

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"O! Say Bonny Lass" was found in one of the musical notebooks of Captain George Bush (1753-1797) of the Colonial Continental Army. Capt. Bush was an accomplished musician who notated many songs and tunes of the period. His notebooks were kept by the Bush family until 1990, when they were donated to the Historical Society of Delaware. They subsequently were published by Kate Van Winkle Keller of The Hendrickson Group.

Our fiddler, Paul Brockman, wrote "Glen Affric" after a trip to Scotland in 1997. It is a lovely air, inspired by the beauty of the mountains and forest, though Paul was also apparently inspired by Glen Affric's Dog Falls. Says he, "Dog Falls is the veritable fountain of Guinness: black water, foamy head. If it hadn't been so cold, I might like to have jumped in."


O! say bonnie lass, can you lie in a barrack
and marry a soldier and carry his wallet
O! say can you leave both your mammy and daddy
and follow to the camp with your soldier laddie.

O! yes I will do it and think nothing of it
and marry a soldier and carry his wallet
O! yes I will leave both my mammy and daddy
and follow to the camp with my soldier laddie.

O!, say bonnie lass, will you go a-campaigning
endure all the hardships of battle and famine
when wounded and bleeding then will thou draw near me
and kindly support and tenderly cheer me.

O!, say bonnie lass will you go into battle
where drums are beating and cannons loud rattle
O!, yes, my bonnie lad I will share all thy harms
and should thou be killed I will die in thy arms.