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Billington issued two sets of "glees selected from the Scotch songs" in the late 1780s, to satisfy two contemporary enthusiasms: that for mixed sex social music, and that for all things North-British. The current arrangement comes from the second set.

These glees were selected from a repertoire of well-known Scottish songs that had been anthologised in the previous seventy years. Verses that are not underlaid were not included by Billington, and have been imported from external sources.

Lyrics: Allan Ramsay

Ye gales that gently wave the sea
And please the canny boatman,
Bear me frae hence, or bring to me
My brave, my bonny Scotman.
In haly bands we joined our hands,
Yet may not this discover,
While parents rate a large estate
Before a faithful lover.

But I loor chuse in highland glens
To herd the kid and goat, man.
Ere I could for sic little ends
Refuse my bonny Scotman.
Wae worth the man who first began
The base ungen'rous fashion
Frae greedy views love's art to lose
While stranger to its passion.

Frae foreign fields, my lovely youth,
Haste to thy longing lassie.
Who pants to press thy balmy mouth,
And in her bosom hause thee.
Love gives the word, then haste on board
Fair winds and tenty boatman,
Wast o'er, wast o'er from yonder shore,
My blithe, my bonny Scotman.

Thomas Billington (arr.)
(1754 - ?1832)

The Bonny boatman

(S.A.T.B. + reduction)

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