“The Laird o Cockpen”


"The Laird o Cockpen, he's proud and he's great... He wanted a wife his braw hoose tae keep...." He comes to court the noble but poor Jean, who at first turns him down, but then thinks of his wealth and chooses to wed him

Supplemental text

Laird o Cockpen, The
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

As printed by W. H. Logan, The Pedlar's Pack of Ballads and Songs,
pp. 358-359. Immediate source not noted, but appears to be based
on the Lady Nairn text.

The Laird o' Cockpen he's proud and he's great,
His mind is ta'en up wi' affairs o' the state;
He wanted a wife his braw hoose to keep,
But favours in wooin' are fascious to seek.

Near yonder dykeside a leddy did dwell --
At his table-head he thocht she'd look well --
MacLeish's ae dochter o' Claversha' Lea,
A penniless lass wi' a long pedigree.

His wig was well poothered and as gude as new,
His doublet was red, and his hose they were blue;
He put on a ring, a sword, and cocked hat,
An' wha could refuse the Laird wi' a' that?

He mounted his naig, and he rode cannilie,
And when he arrived at Claversha' Lea,
"Gae tell Mistress Jean to come speedily ben,
She's wanted to speak wi the Laird o' Cockpen."

Mistress Jean she was makin' the Elder-flower wine,
"What brings the Laird here at sic an ill time?"
She's put aff her apron, put on a silk goun,
A mutch wi' red ribbons an' cam awa' doun.

An' when she cam be he bowed fu' low,
An' what was his errand he sune let her know,
Astonished was he when the leddy said "Na!"
An' wi' a low courtesy turned her awa'.

Dumbfounder'd was he, but nae sigh did he gie,
He mounted his naig and he rode cannilie,
An' often he thocht, as he jogged through the glen,
"She was daft to refuse the Laird o' Cockpen."

Noo after the Laird his exit had made,
Miss Jean she reflected on what she had said,
"For ane I'll get better, for waur I'll get ten,
I was daft to refuse the Laird o' Cockpen."

Next time that the Laird and the Leddy were seen,
They were gaun arm in arm to the Kirk on the Green;
Noo she sits in the ha' like a weel-tappit hen,
But nae chickens as yet hae appeared at Cockpen.

Same tune

  • Tipperty's Jean (Ord, pp. 283-284)
  • Parody on Laird o' Cockpen (Broadside NLScotland L.C.Fol.178.A.2(103), "Parody on Laird o' Cockpen" ("The Laird o Cockpen he's puir and he's duddy"), unknown, c. 1875)
  • New Year (Broadside NLScotland L.C.Fol.178.A.2(104), "The New Year" ("And now we're to enter another New Year, When little is thought on but whiskey and beer"), unknown, c. 1875)
  • The Laird of D--mm-- (broadside NLScotland, ABS.10.203.01(102), "The Laird of D--mm--e," unknown, c. 1835)
  • "Incompetence of Politicians" (Broadside NLScotland L.C.Fol.70(6a), [no title] ("Oh! hae ye heard o' an unprincipled squad"), unknown, n.d.)

Cross references


  1. Logan, pp. 355-359, "The Laird of Cockpen" (1 text)
  3. ST Log355 (Full)
  4. Roud #2859
  5. BI, Log355


Author: Adapted by Lady Nairn?
Earliest date: 1821
Found in: Britain(Scotland)