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Jumpin John


The lang lad they ca' jumpin John Beguil'd the bonie lassie, The lang lad they ca' jumpin John Beguil'd the bonie lassie. Her Daddie forbad, her Minnie forbad; Forbidden she wadna be: She wadna trow't, the browst she brew'd Wad taste sae bitterlie. A cow and a cauf, a yowe and a hauf, And thretty gude shillins and three; A vera gude tocher, a cotter-man's dochter, The lass wi' the bonie black e'e. The lang lad they ca' jumpin John Beguil'd the bonie lassie, The lang lad they ca' jumpin John Beguil'd the bonie lassie.

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Daniela Nardini

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1788 and is read here by Daniela Nardini.

More about this song

The song 'Jumpin John' appeared, unsigned, in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum in 1788.

Although there is no manuscript evidence to attribute the song to Robert Burns, the fact that the poet often altered the folk songs that he collected would suggest that the poet had a hand in shaping this particular version for publication.

The song tells the story of a farmer's daughter who is lured into an unfortunate marriage for her 'tocher' (her dowry). In the eighteenth century, it was customary for the father of the bride to contribute financial support for the preparation of a marital home and to help his new son-in-law provide for his wife and family.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

man woman marriage

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