“The First Night's Courtship”


"When I was a big boy, wi' the thoughts o' the joy," the youth meets Maggie at the fair. After some persuasion, they return to her barn. Her father comes out raging, but they have locked the barn. They flee when he seeks another entrance

Supplemental text

First Night's Courtship, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner and Geraldine Jencks Chickering,
Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan, pp. 405-406. "Sung in 1935
by Mr. Thomas Nichol, Filion."

When I was a big boy, wi' the thoughts o' the joy,
O' courting, my heart it was etnner;
But I dinna ken how for to open my mow,
For fear that I'd fall in a blunner.
Ode day at the fair, bonnie Maggie was there,
A lassie I'd long had me eye on;
"Noo hang it," says I, "for once I will try
An' I'll see how I come on at wooing."

(4 additional stanzas)


Though seemingly known only from the Michigan collection, this song originated in Scotland and still retains its Scots feeling. I'm surprised it isn't more widespread. - RBW


  1. Gardner/Chickering 167, "The First Night's Courting" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST GC168 (Partial)
  3. Roud #3706
  4. BI, GC168


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1935 (Gardner/Chickering)
Found in: US(MW)