Bonnet so Blue

The Bonnet so Blue

Le bonnet bleu

Two versions of a 19th century broadside song: about another Charles Stewart - or was it Charles Thompson?

Tune- Mélodie
"Bonnets of Blue" from "Folks Songs of the Catskills &c." from George Edward

Alternate tune
"Jacket so blue", from "Songs the whalesmen sung" in the "Journal of Catalpa, 1856,
Sequenced by Ch.Souchon


Music sheet

To the lyrics:

Several broadside versions of this song can be found at the Bodleian Library of the Oxford University
In a Yorkshire (or Lancashire) garrison town an English lady, hypnotized by his uniform featuring the famous "bonnet so blue", makes overtures to a handsome Scotch soldier. She even offers to buy his discharge. But her heart's desire has his own sweetheart in his country. The lady asks for his portrait: this at least is granted.

In the first version of the song, Harding 11(393) as in the previous song, "blue bonnet" is no longer a Jacobite symbol.
In the second version, Firth c.14(187), the reference to Bonnie Charlie has disappeared altogether!

A propos du texte:

Plusieurs broadsides avec ce chant sont conservés à la Bibliothèque Bodléienne de l'université d'Oxford.
Dans une ville de garnison du Yorkshire (ou du Lancashire) une dame anglaise succombe au prestige de l'uniforme d'un bel Ecossais, (uniforme comportant le fameux "bonnet bleu") et lui fait des avances. Elle lui offre même de financer sa libération du service. Mais il a déjà une fiancée au pays. La dame se consolera en faisant faire son portrait.

Dans la première version, comme dans le chant précédent, le "bonnet bleu" n'est plus une référence Jacobite.
Dans la seconde, le nom du Prince Charles n'est plus évoqué.



Version 1Version 2Traduction Version 1
1. In Liverpool (*) town, in fair Lancashire.
I lived in splendour and free from love's care.
I rolled in riches, and sweethearts not a few
I'm wounded by a lad and his bonnet so blue.

2. There came a troop of soldiers, and soon you shall hear,
From Scotland to Liverpool, abroad for to steer.
There is one among them I wish I'd never knew.
He's a bonny Scotch lad and his bonnet so blue.

3. His cheeks like the roses, his eyes like sloes
He is handsome and proper, he kills where he goes
He is handsome and proper and comely to view.
He's a bonny Scotch lad and his fine bonnet so blue.

4. When I go to my bed, I can find no rest
The thought of my true love still runs in my breast
The thought of my true love still runs in my view
He's a bonny Scotch lad and his fine bonnet so blue.

5.Early one morning I arose from my bed
I called on Sally who was my waiting maid
To dress me as fine as her hands could do
I'll away to see the lad with his bonnet so blue.

6. She was instantly dress'd and parade did attend,
She stood with impatience to hear her love nam'd
"Charles Stewart they do call him, my love did renew:
Once a prince of that name wore a bonnet so blue.

7. My love pass'd by with his arms in his hand.
I strove to speak to him, but he could not stand.
l strove to speak to him, but away then he flew.
My heart did go with him and his bonnet so blue."

8. She said: "My dearest laddie, I'll buy your discharge
I'll free you from a soldier and set you at large
I'll free you from a soldier if your heart be true
And you'll never wear a stain on that bonnet so blue."

9. He said, "My dear lady, you'll buy my discharge
You'll free me from a soldier and set me at large
For all your kind offers I'm oblig'd to you
But I'll ne'er wear a stain on that bonnet so blue.

10. I've a dear lass in my own country
I'll never forsake her for her poverty.
To the girl that I love I'll always prove true.
And I'll never wear a stain on a bonnet so blue."

11. "I'll send for a limner without more delay
To draw my love's picture that I may it see.
I'll set it in my chamber, keep it close to my view
And I'll think on the lad for his heart it was true."

(*) Other versions have: Kingston-upon-Woolwich, Manchester-in-Lancashire.

Down in a valley, in the town of Yorkshire,
I lived at my ease, and was free from all care;
I lived at my ease, had sweethearts enough...
He's my bonny Scotch laddie with his bonnet so blue.

A regiment of soldiers as soon you shall hear,
From Scotland to England abroad for to go,
There is one lad among them that I love so true,
He's my bonny Scotch laddie with his bonnet so blue.











It was early one morning I rose from my bed,
I called for Nelly my own waiting maid,
I said dress me neat as your two hands can do
I'm going to see the lads with their bonnets so blue.

When I came, the regiment it was on parade,
I stood with great pleasure to hear what was said;
His name is Charles Thompson, I love him so true,
For so well he becomes his bonnet so blue.

My love he came to me with a gun in his hand;
I strove to speak to him but it was all in vain;
I strove to speak to him, but from me he flew,
But my heart went along with his bonnet so blue.

I said, my dear jewel, I'll buy your discharge;
I'll free you from a soldier and set you at large;
If you could but love me my heart would prove true,
For dearly I do love your bonnet so blue.

You said, my dear lady, you'll buy my discharge;
You'd free me from a soldier and set me at large;
But if I could but love you my heart would prove true,
Then what would my poor little Scotch lassie do.

But I have got sweethearts in my country;
I'll never despise them for their poverty,
For the girl that I love she will always prove true,
And she'll ne'er put a stain on my bonnet so blue.

I'll send for a limner from London to Hull,
And have my love's picture drawn out all in full;
And in my bed chamber so oft will I view
That bonnie Scotch laddie with his bonnet so blue.

1. "Je vivais à Liverpool dans le Lancashire
Dans l'opulence et d'amour je n'avais que faire.
J'avais la richesse et plus encor d'amoureux.
Quand j'eus le cœur blessé par l'homme au bonnet bleu.

2. Des soldats sont arrivés, vous m'entendez bien,
D'Ecosse et Liverpool était sur leur chemin.
L'un d'entre eux n'eût jamais dû paraître à mes yeux
C'est un bel Ecossais avec un bonnet bleu.

3. De rose sont ses joues. On voit ses yeux briller.
Digne, mais avenant: la guerre est son métier.
Digne, mais avenant. Et quel port majestueux!
Ah, le bel Ecossais avec son bonnet bleu!

4. Désormais sur mon lit le sommeil ne vient point,
Car sa pensée m'obsède. Elle oppresse mon sein.
Oui, sa pensée m'obsède et mes yeux amoureux
Me font voir le bel homme avec son bonnet bleu!

5. De bonne heure, un matin, je surgis de mon lit
Et j'appelle aussitôt ma suivante, Sally.
Il faut qu'elle m'attife aussi bien qu'elle peut.
Je m'en vais, de ce pas, voir l'homme au bonnet bleu!"

6. Sur le champs de parade elle se rend tout droit,
Espérant, qu'à l'appel, son nom elle entendra.
"Charles Stuart! Je ne l'en aimerai que mieux:
Un Prince de ce nom portait le bonnet bleu.


7. Mon amour est passé, les armes à la main.
J'ai voulu lui parler. Il ne s'arrêta point.
J'ai voulu lui parler. Mais il a fui ces lieux.
C'est mon cœur qu'il emporte avec son bonnet bleu."

8. Elle a dit: "Mon ami, je suis prête à payer
Afin que de l'armée vous soyez congédié.
Oui, je le ferai, si votre cœur est vertueux,
Que sans tache à jamais reste ce bonnet bleu."

9. "Oh, Madame, a-t-il dit, vous voulez donc payer
Afin que du service on puisse m'exempter?
Je vous suis obligé. Le geste est généreux,
Mais l'accepter serait ternir mon bonnet bleu.

10. Car là-bas, au pays, ma fiancée m'attend.
Elle est pauvre. La quitterai-je pour autant?
Servir deux maîtres: cœur fidèle ne le peut
Nulle tache ne doit ternir mon bonnet bleu."

11. "Sans plus attendre, afin d'avoir votre portrait,
Je fais venir un peintre. Et pour mieux l'admirer,
J'en ornerai ma chambre et j'aurai sous les yeux
Les traits d'un homme dont le cœur est vertueux."




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