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The Bonnie Hoose of Airlie / The Bonnie House o' Airly
(with alternate fragment from Young Airly)

circa 1746

Version "A"
(The Bonnie Hoose of Airlie)

It fell on a day, on a bonnie simmer's day
When the corn was ripe and yellow,
That there fell oot a great dispute
Between Argyll and Airlie.

Noo the lady looked owre yon high castle was,
And oh, but she sighed sairly
Whan she saa Argyll and aa he's men
Come tae plunder the bonnie hoose o Airlie.

'Come doon, come doon, Lady Marg'ret, he says,
'Come doon and kiss me fairly,
Or gin the mornin's clear daylight
I'll no leave a stannin stane in Airlie.

'I'll no come doon, you false Argyll,
Nor wid I kiss thee fairly:
I widnae kiss the fause Argyll
Though ye widnae leave a stannin stane in Airlie.

'Noo if my guid lord had been at hame
As he's awaa wi Chairlie,
There widnae come a Campbell from Argyll
Dared tae trod upon the bonnie green o Airlie.

'For I have borne him seven bonnie sons
But the eighth yin has never seen his daddy,
But had I jist as mony owre again
They wid aa be men for Chairlie.'

Noo Argyll in a rage he kennled sic a lowe
That it rose tae lift red an clearly,
An poor Lady Marg'ret and aa her weans
They were smothered in the dark reek o Airlie.

'Draa yir dirks, draa yir dirks!' cried brave Lochiel;
'Unsheathe yir swords!' cried Chairlie,
'An we'll kennle sic a lowe roond the fause Argyll
An we'll licht it wi a spark oot'n Airlie! 

Version "B"
A "fragment" from Young Airly

“Ken ye aught o’ gude Lochiel,
On ken ye aught o’ Airly?
They’ve buckled them on their weir-harnessing,
An’ aff an’ awa wi’ Charlie.”

“Bring here to me,” quo’ the hie Argyle,
“My bands in the morning early,
An’ we’ll raise sic a lowe that heaven shanna sloken
In the dwalling o’ young Lord Airly!”

“What lowe is yon?” quo’ the gude Lochiel,
“Whilk rises wi’ the sun sae early?
By the God o’ my kin,” quo the young Ogilvie,
“It’s my ain bonnie hame o’ Airly!”

“Put up yere sword,” quo’ the gude Lochiel,
An’ “put it up,” quo’ Charlie,
“We’ll raise sic a lowe roun’ the fause Argyle!
An’ light it wi’ a spunk frae Airly.”

“It’s nae my ha’, nor my lands a’ reft,
Whilk reddens my cheeks sae sairlie;
But my mither an’ twa sweet babies I left
To smoor i’ the reek of Airly.”

Editor's Notes: The Earl of Argyll destroyed Airlie House, home of the Earl of Airlie, in 1640.  In this ballad, this seventeenth century event has been "conflated" with the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, in the next century.  The Version B "fragment" was preserved in Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song by R.H. Cromek.  That publication cites the old song, “The Bonnie House o’ Airlie,” which has numerous different versions, some with and some without mention of Lochiel.  Young Lord Airlie, the eldest son of Ogilvie, Earl of Airlie, escaped to exile in France following the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Lowe=Blaze; Weans=Children; Reek=Smoke