Maid with the Bonny Brown Hair

The Maid with the Bonny Brown Hair tells the story of a young man who falls in love with a beautiful girl.

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They get as far as naming the wedding day, only for her to jilt him when she gets a better offer from a man who is far kinder. The rejections scene is very polite but very quick and final.

Very kindly to me she did say
“O, it’s I have another far kinder
My land and my fortune to share
So farewell to you now, and forever”

The young man is left distraught and he eventually decides to leave Ireland for Spain where he hopes to find someone kinder.

The Maid with the Bonny Brown Hair was collected by Colm O’Lochlainn and published in his collection of Irish Street Ballads. O’Lochlainn got the song from his mother who first heard it in Limerick about 1870.

Song is usually sung to tune of Black Velvet Band

The song is usually sung to tune of The Black Velvet Band, although there are other versions as well.

The chords presented here assume the song is sung to Black Velvet Band. Use our key converter to play the chords in other keys.

Maid with the Bonny Brown Hair Lyrics and Chords


G 
As once I roved out very early
 
C 
To view the green meadows in  
D7 
Spring,
 
G 
It was down by the side of a ri
Em 
ver
 
I heard  
C 
a fair dam
D 
sel did  
G 
sing,
 
G 
And I stood in completest amazement
 
I  
C 
gazed on that maiden so  
D7 
fair.
 
G 
She appeared to me brighter than Venus
 
C 
That maid with the  
D 
bonny brown  
G 
hair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Her eyes they did shine like the diamonds

Her cheeks like the red rose in June,

Her skin was as white as the lily

And her breath had the rarest perfume,

And a dress of the best speckled velvet

This charming wee lass she did wear,

And chains of bright gold and pure silver

Were twined in her bonny brown hair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For a long while we courted together

Till at last we named the wedding day,

And one day while conversing together

Very kindly to me she did say,

“O, it’s I have another far kinder –

My land and my fortune to share

So farewell to you now, and forever,

Said the maid with the bonny brown hair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And once I went over the ocean

Being bound for the proud land of Spain,

Some singing and dancing for pleasure

But I had a heart full of pain.

And as the ship sailed down the river

I espied my old sweetheart so fair

Quite content in the arms of another

Was the maid with the bonny brown hair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So farewell to my friends and relations

Perchance I shall see you no more,

And when I’m in far distant nations

Sure I’ll sigh for my dear native shore.

When I’m in some far distant nation

My land and my fortune to share

I hope I’ll get someone more kinder

Than the maid with the bonny brown hair.

Full list of songs

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