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Fair Gallowa'
Traditional, arranged by the Tannahill Weavers
If you take the time to really digest the lyrics of some traditional songs, you will find that many of them are rather strange. This is one of them.

The unnamed hero of the song is apparently roving from town to town for no obvious purpose other than eyeing up "the babes". On arrival in Glasgow he sees a creature of rare beauty, or "wee stoater" in the local vernacular and, after conning her into believing that he is lost, he courts her night and day for an unspecified length of time.

As the time for him to leave approaches, he asks her directly "Come with me or stay here". He then embarks on more subterfuge by pretending that, despite her entreaties to the contrary, he is leaving immediately. She marries him and moves to Galloway, presumably to live with his parents. The end.

They don't write love songs like that anymore do they?
 

LYRICS: 

Twas in the month of August when the yellow grew the corn,
The hills they were a' darkened and the heather a' in bloom.
I roved aboot frae toon tae toon tae see the lassies braw,
Though my auld aged parents lived in fair Gallowa'.

Then intae Glasgow toon I came and doon upon a green,
Where a' the bonnie lassies fair were there for to be seen.
And there was ane amang the rest, the flooer amang them a',
The sweetest face in a' the place or yet in Gallowa'.

I stepped up unto her for tae ask at her the way,
Unto a place I knew richt weel tae hear what she might say.
"Ye seem tae be a stranger lad , wi' me ye'll come awa',
And I will show you straight the way doon by the Broomielaw."

I courted this fair lassie by the night and by the day,
Until the time was drawing near that I must go away.
I'll leave it to your choice for me tae come or stay awa',
Or paddle on the road wi' me tae fair Gallowa'.

I turned me then aroon' aboot as for tae go away,
Sae strang as she invited me tae stay anither day.
This couple they've got married noo, and live thegether braw,
And noo she lives a happy life in fair Gallowa'.

Twas in the month of August when the yellow grew the corn,
The hills they were a' darkened and the heather a' in bloom.
I roved aboot frae toon tae toon tae see the lassies braw,
Though my auld aged parents lived in fair Gallowa'.

 

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