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I've travelled east and I've travelled west,
And I hae been at Kirkaldie;
But the bonniest lass that e'er I spied,
She was followin' her collier laddie.
Wi' siller slippers on her feet,
Her body neat and handsome,
And sky blue ribbons on her heid,
Whaur gowd abune was glancin'.
"O, whaur live ye, my bonnie lass?
Come tell me what they ca' ye?"
"Bonnie Jean Gordon is my name
And I'm followin' my collier laddie."
"O, would ye fancy ane that's black,
And you sae fair and gowdie?
O, fancy ane o' high degree
Than followin' a collier laddie.
"O. see ye not yon hills and dales
The sun shines on sae brawlie?
They a' are mineand they shall be thine
Gin ye leave your collier laddie."
"And ye shall gang in gay attire,
Well buskit up sae gaudie;
And ane to wait on every hand,
Gin ye leave your collier laddie."
"Though ye had a' the sun shines on,
And the earth conceals sae lowly;
I would turn my back on you and it a'
And embrace my collier laddie."
Then he has gane to her faither dear,
To her faither gane sae brawlie;
Says, "Will ye gie me your bonnie lass
That's followin' a collier laddie?
"O, would she marry a man that's black,
And me sae braw and gaudie?
I'll raise her up to a higher degree
Than followin' a collier laddie."
Her faither dear then vow'd and sware,
"Though he be black he's bonnie;
She's mair delight in him, I fear,
Than you wi' a' your money."
"I can win my five pennies a day,
And spen't at nicht fu' brawlie;
And I'll mak' my bed in the collier's neuk
And lie doon wi' my collier laddie.
"Love for love is a bargain for me,
Though the wee cot hoose should haud me;
And the world's before me to win my breid,
An' fair fa' my collier laddie."
Footnote ; From the singing of Isabell Henry of Auchterarrder, Perthshire. My grannie always referred to the Fife town of Kirkcaldy as 'Kirkaldie', to me it is 'Kirkcaddie'! For centuries coal has been mined in Scotland but today there is only open-cast mining as the last colliery closed in March 2002. A large open-cast site is presently being worked on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy.


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