Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Jock o the Side

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Jock o' the Side

Jock o' the Side

Now Liddesdale has ridden a raid
He'd hae done better to bide at hame
For Michael o' Whinfield, he is deid
And Jock o' the Side is prisoner ta'en
And Jock o' the Side is prisoner ta'en

His mither's awa' by the waterside
She's kilted her kirtle abune her knee
And when she's cam' tae Mangerton
The tears were rinnin' doon frae her e'e (2x)

"Whit news, whit news?" the Laird he cried
"Oh whit's the news ye brocht tae me?"
"The news is ill my brither dear
For Michael is deid and they've ta'en my Johnnie"

"Oh never ye fear, my sister dear
For I hae cows and ewes fu' many
My barns and byres are all well filled
And I'll gie them all tae save our Johnnie

"There's three o' my men will ride the nicht
A' harnessed wi' Toledo steel
The English dogs will rue the day
They'll aye remember our Johnnie well"

"The Laird's Jock, ane, and the Laird's Wat, twa
And Hobbie Noble the third will be
Thy coat is blue but ye hae been true
Since England banished thee tae me

"Noo Jock, my man, hear whit I say
Ye'll shoe your horses the wrong way roond
And it's no like gentry ye will ride
But gang like beggars upon the ground

"Ye will nae show your Spanish blades
But cover them a' wi' beggin' weeds
And ye will gang like country loons
And ride barebacked upon your steeds"

And when they came tae Newcastle toon
Hock cried, "The gates we maun ding doon
But the porter he stood on the wall sae high
And cried, "Ye canna come in the toon"

Jock's lowpit doon frae his horse's back
And wrung the keeper's neck in twa
They've ta'en his life and they've ta'en his keys
And cast his body ahint the wa'

And when they cam' tae Newcastle jail
Unto the prisoner they did ca'
"Sleep ye or wake ye, Jock o' the Side
We've come tae fetch ye ower the wa'"

"Oh what is it there that speaks sae big?
To Jock o' the Side who lies in chains
I sleep saft and I wake oft
And I doubt that I'll ever be free again

Fifteen stane o' iron chain
And bolted bars they've laid on me
Tho' all Liddesdale were here the nicht
I fear they niver could set me free"

"Oh, hold your tongue noo, Jock o' the Side
We need nae mair but just us three
Ye'll work within and we'll work without
For we hae promised to set ye free"

The firsten door that they cam' tae
They opened the lock without the key
And Hobbie he kicked the next door doon
Says, "come awa' Jock, It's time tae leave"

The laird's Jock broke the iron bands
And Jock o' the Side on his back he's ta'en
And he's gane lowpin' doon the stairs
Wi' Jock o' the Side and the iron chain

Now hobbie, he said tae the laird's own Jock
"Some o' the weight ye may lay on me"
"Ye need not bother yersel', " says Jock
"I count him as licht as a bumblebee"

Then oot o' Newcastle they a' did ride
Jock o' the Side and his kinsmen three
And they're awa' through the broken yetts
Rantin' an' singin' sae wantonly

"Oh Jock, ye ride sae winsomely
Wi' baith yer feet hangin on ae side
Your chains they ring like wedding bells
Oh Jock, my man, ye're a bonnie bride"

And when they cam' tae the riverside
The water o' Tyne ran like the sea
And the laird's saft Wat, he roared and grat
"We'll a' be drooned and I'm feared to dee"

"Come fire or flood," says the laird's ain Jock
"There's nae man dees before his time"
And he's led them into the roaring flood
And they hae crossed the water o' Tyne

They scarce had won tae the northern side
When they heard the cries o' men behind
And they mocked and fleered at the English loons
Wha darena cross the water o' Tyne

The sergeant o' the English troop
Says, "Tak' yer man, let him gang free
Tak' yer man tae Liddesdale
But leave his fetter, I pray, tae me"

"C'wa' wi' that," says the laird's ain Jock
"Shoon for my gud grey mare, they'll be
She carried them o'er the water o' Tyne
And I'm sure she's bought them dear fae thee"

Then they ha' rid tae Liddesdale
Just as fast as they could ride
And when they cam' tae Liddesdale
They cast the chains frae Jock o' the Side

They filled a bowl wi' the gud red wine
And after that, they filled anither
And aye the toasts hirled roond and roond
Just as if they had been brither and brither

Child #187
recorded by Ewan MacColl
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