Killed Them A’ but Ane

Esslemont Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Ruin of Esslemont Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Johnny arose on a May mornin’
Gone for water tae wash his hands
He hae loused tae me his twa gray dogs
That lie bound in iron bands

When Johnny’s mother, she heard o’ this
Her hands for dule she wrang
Cryin’, “Johnny, for yer venison
Tae the green woods dinna ye gang”

Aye, but Johnny hae taen his good benbow
His arrows one by one
Aye, and he’s awa tae the green wood gaen
Tae dae the dun deer doon

Oh Johnny, he shot, and the dun deer lapp’t
He wounded her in the side
Aye, between the water and the wood
The gray dogs laid their pride

It’s by there cam’ a silly auld man
Wi’ an ill that John he might dee
And he’s awa’ doon tae Esslemont
Well, the King’s seven foresters tae see

It’s up and spake the first forester
He was heid ane amang them a’
“Can this be Johnny O’ Braidislee?
Untae him we will draw”

An’ the first shot that the foresters, they fired
They wounded John in the knee
An’ the second shot that the foresters, they fired
Well, his hairt’s blood blint his e’e

But he’s leaned his back against an oak
An’ his foot against a stane
Oh and he hae fired on the seven foresters
An’ he’s killed them a’ but ane

Aye, he hae broke fower o’ this man’s ribs
His airm and his collar bain
Oh and he has sent him on a horse
For tae carry the tidings hame

Johnny’s good benbow, it lies broke
His twa gray dogs, they lie deid
And his body, it lies doon in Monymusk
And his huntin’ days are daen
His huntin’ days are daen

— Johnny O’ Braidislee (Jock O’ Braidislee) as arranged by Old Blind Dogs.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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