A beggar comes to a lady's door and begs lodging. That night, he lures her daughter away with him. Later he returns to the lady's door and again begs lodging. The lady says she will never lodge a beggar again. He reveals her daughter, rich and happy
Although this ballad is associated in tradition with James V of Scotland, there is no evidence that he ever sought a woman in this fashion. James V in fact married a noble foreign lady, Mary of Guise-Lorraine.
Wheatley explains "Gaberlunyie" as a compound of "gaber," a wallet, and "lunyie," the loins, i.e. a Gaberlunyie man is one who carries a wallet by his side. The fact that the title vacillates between "Gaberlunyie" and "Gaberlunzie" implies that most singers were less aware of this than the average scholar....
For the relationship between this song and "The Jolly Beggar," see the notes to that song. Due to the degree of cross-fertilization of these ballads, one should be sure to check both songs to find all versions.- RBW
The following broadsides almost certainly belong here but I could not download them: Bodleian, 2806 c.18(171), "The Beggar Man" ("There was an old man cam o'er the lea"), unknown, n.d.; also Firth c.26(57), "The Beggar Man" - BS