Bonnie Udny

On Springthyme SPRCD 1039
Jock Duncan - Ye Shine Whar Ye Stan!

A song that sings the praises of Udny (5 miles east of Oldmeldrum) and her 'rovin blades' who 'tak great pleasure in a-courtin fair maids.' Greig has a number of versions (GD 1089) with various spellings of the town indicative of local pronunciation. He comments that the song is constantly being asked for in the columns of papers which encourage the hunt for old songs (FSNE 32). But the song does not originate in Aberdeenshire: Logan's Pedlar's Pack has the related song Bonnie Paisley, the Sam Henry collection has Bonnie Portrush and Greig mentions other versions with Portmore, Kilkenny, Ury and Yarmouth and links the song back to a song Over Hills and high Mountains dating from the late 1600s in Chapell's Old English Popular Music.

Brian McNeill - concertina, guitar; Pete Shepheard - melodeon; Gordon Duncan - low whistle

1: Oh Widny, bonnie Widny, at present adieu,
Wherever I wander I'll still think of you;
Through hills and through valleys how often I roam,
Through brushwood and brambles myself all alone.

2: It is not the journey that I have to go,
It is not the long road that vexes me so;
Tis the leaving o Widny and all friends behind,
Oh Widny, bonnie Widny yeĆ­re aye in my mind.

3: Oh Widny, bonnie Widny how endearing your charms,
The longer I see you the more my heart warms;
Take me back to Widny and her that loes me,
And there I wid hie me until that I dee. [i.e. stay till I die

4: Noo the young men o Widny, they are aa rovin blades,
And they tak great pleasure in a-courtin fair maids;
They will kiss them an clap them an they'll spend their money free,
O aa ye airts o Scotia bonnie Widny for me.

5: Let us drink and be merry lads, let us drink and gyang hame,
For if we bide ony langer we'll get a bad name;
We'll get a bad name boys and fill oorselves fu,
For the lang walks o Widny they are aye tae gang through.

Other recordings include Jane Turriff (Springthyme SPRCD 1038) and Lizzie Higgins (Springthyme SPRC 1021).

Jock: John Strachan had this song and it wis John I heard first. But of course Geordie Morris wis a great favourite. I've heard many versions o it - an tunes an aa, fen I wis young. Widney wis the pronunciation. Never naebody heard o Udny: "It's Widney boy - are ye gaun doun tae Widney the nicht?"

c p 1996 Springthyme Records :