“Two Rigs of Rye”


(The girl tells her lover that her family opposes her marriage.) Uncertain of her dowry, he has doubts about the marriage. When she breaks into tears, he assures her he did not mean it. The two settle down to a long and happy marriage

Supplemental text

Two Rigs of Rye [Laws O11]
  Complete text(s)

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The Rigs of Rye

From John Ord, Ord's Bothy Songs and Ballads, p. 31

'Twas in the month o' sweet July,
Before the sun had pierced the sky;
'Twas in between twa rigs o' rye
  That I heard twa lovers talking.

The lad said, "Love, I must away,
I've got no longer time to stay;
But I've got a word or two to say,
  If ye've got time to tarry,

"Your father of you takes great care,
Your mother combs down your yellow hair;
And your sisters say ye will get nae share,
  Gin ye gang wi' me, a stranger."

"Let my faither fret and my mother frown,
My sisters' words I do disown;
Though they a' were deid and below the groun',
  I'd gang wi' you, a stranger."

"Oh, lassie, lassie, your fortune's sma';
And maybe it will be nane ata';
Yer nae a match for me ava',
  Lay ye your love on some ither."

The lassie's courage began to fail,
Her red, rosy cheeks grew wan and pale,
And her tears cam' trickling down like hail,
  Or a heavy shower in summer.

He took his handkerchief, linen fine,
He dried her tears, and he kissed her syne;
Says, "Dry up your tears, love, ye shall be mine,
  I said it a' to try you."

He, being a boy of courage bold,
A boy that scarce was nineteen years old;
He made the hills and the valleys road,
  And he's ta'en his bonnie lass wi' him.

THis couple they've got married noo,
And they've got bairnies one or two;
And they live in Brechin the winter thro',
  And in Montrose in summer.


  • NLScotland, RB.m.143(122), "Twas in the Month of Sweet July," Poet's Box (Dundee), c. 1890


  1. Laws O11, "Two Rigs of Rye"
  2. Ord, pp. 31-32, "The Rigs of Rye" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Gardner/Chickering 58, "Two Rigs of Rye" (1 short text, 1 tune)
  4. DT 475, RIGSORYE*
  5. ST LO11 (Full)
  6. Roud #985
  7. BI, LO11


Alternate titles: “The Rigs of Rye”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (Ord)
Keywords: courting dowry marriage
Found in: US(MW) Britain(England,Scotland)