“The Blaeberry Courtship”


A Lowland girl is induced to follow a Highland lad home "to pick blueberries" (and get married). The girl is worn out by the time they reach his home -- only to discover that his poverty is a sham and he is a great lord whom she knew in childhood


Laws calls this a "modernization of the story" told in "Lizie Lindsay" (Child #226). It is possible that this is technically true -- that is, that "The Blaeberry Courtship" was inspired by the Child Ballad. Certainly a number of scholars (far too many!) have lumped them together. But they are clearly and obviously separate songs, and should be treated as such. In terms of plot, "The Blaeberry Courtship" is nearly as close to "Glasgow Peggy" as to "Lizie Lindsay"; note that the suitor reveals his wealth only *after* the lady comes away with him. - RBW

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 1570, "The Blaeberries" or "Highland Laird's Courtship," G Walker (Durham), 1797-1834
  • NLScotland, RB.m.143(004), "The Blaeberry Courtship," Pos Box (sic.), i.e. Poet's Box (Glasgow), c. 1880


  1. Laws N19, "The Blaeberry Courtship"
  2. SHenry H193, pp. 487-488, "The Hielan's o' Scotland" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Ord, pp. 190-191, "The Blaeberry Courtship" (1 text)
  4. Stokoe/Reay, pp. 62-63, "The Blaeberries" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Mackenzie 18, "The Blaeberry Courtship" (2 texts)
  7. Roud #1888
  8. BI, LN19


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1835 (broadside, Bodleian Johnson Ballads 1570)
Found in: Canada(Mar) Britain(England(North),Scotland) Ireland