The braes of Strathblane, song

Annie Sweeney, singing in English
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Near the town of brave Athrillicks one evening in June
To the woods I know (sic) daisies and the meadows in bloom
I spied a wee lassie at the butt of the lane,
She was bleaching her linens on the braes of Strathblane.

I stepped up there to her, I made my address,
– Are you bleaching your linens, my charming wee lass?
It’s twelve months and better I had it in mind
That we would get married if you were so inclined.

– To marry, to marry, kind sir, I am too young,
Besides, all you young men has a flattering tongue;
My mammy and daddy quite angry would be
If I would go marry a rover like thee.

– Consent, you wee lassie, and do not say no,
You don’t know the pain, love, that I undergo.
The clouds they look weighty, I fear we’ll have rain
And I’ll court some other on the braes of Strathblane.

Come all you wee lassies, take a warning from me,
Don’t slight your wee laddie or his father dear;
For the slighting of my love I fear I’ll get none
And I’ll court some other on the braes of Strathblane.


‘Doggerel’ as familiar in the lane valley, north of Glasgow, as ‘the lines of the 23rd psalm’ was Ford’s description of his nine-verse text (C). Doggerel or not the song has travelled, turning up unrecognized in America as ‘The beach of Strablane’, ‘The bleaches so green’, even ‘The Chippewa girl’. The other alternative title is used in Aberdeenshire, where Strathdon is situated. Our Derry version was sung when Annie Sweeney, living in Scotland, was back on holiday in her native Magilligan. But it was in Magilligan from her grandfather, said Annie, that she learned it.