Annan Water

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Melody -
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From Child, Vol. 2, early edition

Annan water's wading deep,
And my love Annie's wondrous bonny;
And I am laith she suld weet her feet,
Because I love her best of ony.

2. "Gar saddle me the bonny black, -
Gar saddle sune, and make him ready:
For I will down the Gatehope-Slack,
And all to see my bonny ladye."

3. He has loupen on the bonny black,
He stirr'd him wi' the spur right sairly;
But, or he wan the Gatehope-Slack,
I think the steed was wae and weary.

4. He has loupen on the bonny gray,
He rade the right gate and the ready;
I trow he would neither stint nor stay,
For he was seeking his bonny ladye.

5. O he has ridden o'er field and fell,
Through muir and moss, and mony a mire;
His spurs o' steel were sair to bide,
And fra her fore-feet flew the fire.

6. "Now, bonny grey, now play your part!
Gin ye be the steed that wins my deary,
Wi' corn and hay ye'se be fed for aye,
And never spur sall make you wearie."

7. The gray was a mare, and a right good mare;
But when she wan the Annan water,
She couldna hae ridden a furlong mair,
Had a thousand merks been wadded at her.

8. "O boatman, boatman, put off your boat!
Put off your boat for gowden monie!
I cross the drumly stream the night,
Or never mair I see my honey."

9. "O I was sworn sae late yestreen,
And not by ae aith, but by many;
And for a' the gowd in fair Scotland,
I dare na take ye through to Annie."

10. The side was stey, and the bottom deep,
Frae bank to brae the water pouring;
And the bonny grey mare did sweat for fear,
For she heard the water-kelpy roaring.

11. O he has pou'd aff his dapperpy coat,
The silver buttons glanced bonny;
The waistcoat bursted aff his breast,
He was sae full of melancholy.

12. He has ta'en the ford at that stream tail;
I wot he swam both strong and steady;
But the stream was broad, and his strength did fail,
And he never saw his bonny ladye.

13. "O wae betide the frush saugh wand!
And wae betide the bush of brier!
It brake into my true love's hand,
When his strength did fail, and his limbs did tire.

14. "And wae betide ye, Annan water,
This night that ye are a drumlie river!
For over thee I'll build a bridge,
That ye never more true love may sever."


From THE BORDER MINSTRELSY Scott says that these are the original words of the tune of "Allan Water," and that he has added two verses from a variant with a fortunate conclusion. "Allan Water" is a common river name; the stream so called joins Teviot above Branxholme. Annan is the large stream that flows into the Solway Frith. The Gate-slack, in Annandale, fixes the locality. - A Collection of Ballads by Andrew Lang

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