Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Young Laird of Craigston

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The Young Laird of Craigston

The Young Laird of Craigston

"Father," said she, "you have done me wrong'
For you have married me on a childe young man,
For you have married me on a childe young man,
And my bonny love is long
    A growing, growing, deary,
    Growing, growing said the bonny maid,
    How long my bonny love's a growing."

"Daughter," said he, "I have done you no wrong,
For I have married you on a heritor of land,
He's likewise possessed of many bills and bonds,
And he'll be daily
    Growing, growing, deary," &c.

"Daughter," said he, "if you wish to do well,
Ye will send your husband away to the school,
That he of learning may gather great skill,
And he'll be daily
      Growing, growing, deary," &c.

Now young Craigstoun to the college is gone,
And left his lady making great moan,
That she should be forced to lie a-bed alone,
And that he was so long
    A-growing, growing, &c.

She's dressed herself in robes of green,
They were right comely to be seen,
She was the picure of Venus' queen,
And she's to the college to see
    Him growing, growing, &c.

Then all of the Collegineers were playing at the ba',
But the young Craaigstoun was the flower of them a';
He said, "Play on, my schoolfellows a',
For I see my sister
     Coming, coming," &c.

Now down into the college park
They walked about till it was dark,
Then he lifted up her fine Holland sark,
And she had no reason to complain
    Of his growing, growing, &c.

In his twelfth year he was a married man,
In his thirteenth year then he got a son;
And in his fourteenth year his grave grew green,
And that was the end
    Of his growing, growing, &c.

from Maidment's 'A North Countrie Garland', (1824)
from reprint of 1884. Heading quoted in full.

The estate of Craigstoun was acquired by John Urquhart, better
known by the name of Tutor of Cromarty. It would appear that the
ballad refers to his grandson, who married Elizabeth, daughter
of Sir Robert Innes of that ilk, and by her had one son. This
John Urquhart died November 30, 1634. Spalding (vol. i. p. 36),
after mentioning the great mortality in the Craigstoun family,
says: "Thus in three years' space the good-sire, son, any oy
died." He adds that "the Laird of Innes (whose sister was married
to this Urquhat of Leathers, the father, and not without her
consent, as was thought, gets the guiding of this young boy, and
without advice of friends, shortly and quietly marries him,
upon his own eldest daughter Elizabeth Innes." He mentions that
young Craigstoun's death was generally attributed to melancholy,
in consequence of Sir Robert Innes refusing to pay old
Craigstoun's debts: the creditors bestowing "many maledictions,
which touched the young man's conscience, albeit he could not
mend it." The father died in December, 1631, and the son in 1634.
The marriage consequently must have been of short duration.

My suspicion, as yet unconfirmed, is that C. K. Sharpe's MS
source was the copy in the collection of the Rev. Robert Scott of

For additional traditional and broadside texts see G. M. Laws,
Jr., 'American Balladry from British Broadsides', O 35, and Steve
Roud's folk song and broadside ballad indexes, Roud No. 31.

DT #307
Laws O35
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