“Ballan Doune Braes”


"The laird o' the town" tells Betsy "that a father, a brother, and a husband he'd be" But "short was his courtship ... When he cam' to his own he wad own me nae mair" People mock her. Left forlorn with children she returns to die on Ballan Doune braes


Broadside Harding B 11(677) is an abbreviated version of the story but shares its chorus ("False was his promise guile was his way, He decoyed me far far from sweet Barren Down Brae") with the longer versions. By the time it was collected in GreigDuncan6 those lines were only in the first verse. The GreigDuncan6 first line is the line from the broadsides listed other than Harding B 11(677): "Over yon moorlands and down by yon glen." - BS

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(677), "Sweet Barren Doun Braes" ("As I walked out one morning, one morning in spring"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Harding B 26(24), "Ballandine Braes" ; Firth b.28(31a), "Ballandine Breas"; Harding B 19(30), 2806 c.15(173), "Ballintown Brae"; 2806 c.14(89) , "Sweet Ballenden Braes"
  • Murray, Mu23-y1:049, "Ballandine Braes!" ("Over yon moorlands and down by yon glen"), James Lindsay Jr. (Glasgow), 19C


  1. Roud #6819
  2. BI, BdBaDoBr


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1845 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(677)
Found in: Britain(Scotland(Aber))