From the recording Bent On Rambling
As we’ve done on earlier projects, we look back to a previous recording, “Wild and Wicked Youth”. Retooled with Mary picking up the lead-vocal, this “milestone” piece reflects how much the sound of the band has changed. What hasn’t changed is the enigma this song is, with its happy-go-lucky melody that is consummately counterintuitive to the horrible, heartbreaking story the song tells. We learned this song from the performance of “Wenchwork” at the Arizona Renaissance Festival in 1991. The paradoxical nature of the song could hardly have been more apparent than on one Sunday morning in 2008 when performing this song at our earliest set at Dunwoodie Dell at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival to an audience of one – a woman sitting in the front row in rapt attention, elbows on her knees and chin in her hands, hanging on every word. “Her Englishman rode down the lane”, and evidently expecting a different ending, at “he pulled her body from the flames” the woman burst into tears. Ah, the magic and power of well-written folk music…
There was a lady from Scotland (hey my love, ho my love). There was a lady from Scotland (oh I love her dearly). There was a lady from Scotland who fell in love with an Englishman. Bonnie Susie Cleland to be married in Dundee
Her father met her at the gate. Will you this Englishman forsake?
I will not this man forsake though you burn me at the stake.
Where can I find man or boy to carry these tidings to my joy?
Here am I, a fine young man, I’ll carry your tidings to England.
Take to him this sheath and knife, tell him to find another wife.
Take to him this gay gold ring, tell him I’m going to my burning.
Her father dragged her to the stake, her brothers there a fire did make.
Her Englishman rode down the lane and pulled her body from the flame, crying, Bonnie Susie Cleland was to marry unto me. And bonnie Susie Cleland, she was buried in Dundee.