Cam Ye O’er Frae France


Cam ye o’er frae France? Cam ye doon by Lunnon?
Saw ye Geordie Whelps and his bonnie woman?
Were ye at the place ca’d the Kittle Hoosie?
Saw ye Geordie’s grace riding on a goosie?

Geordie he’s the man, there is little doubt o’t
He’s done a’ he can, wha can dae withoot it?
Doon there cam a blade linkin’ like my lordie
He wad drive a trade at the loom o’ Geordie

Though the claith were bad, blithely may we niffer
Gin we get a wab, it mak’s little differ
We hae lost our plaid, bonnet, belt and swordie
Ha’s and mailins braid – but we hae a Geordie!

Jocky’s gone tae France, and Montgomery’s lady
There they’ll learn tae dance: – Madam, are ye ready?
They’ll be back belive, belted, brisk and lordly
Brawly may they thrive tae dance a jig wi’ Geordie!

Hey for Sandy Don! Hey for Cock-a-Lorum!
Hey for Bobbin’ John, and his Hieland Quorum!
Many’s the sword and lance, swings at highland hurdie
How they’ll skip and dance, o’er the bum o’ Geordie!

When George I imported his seraglio of impoverished gentlewomen from Germany, he provided the Jacobite songwriters with material for some of their most ribald verses. Madame Kielmansegg, Countess of Platen, is referred to exclusively as The Sow in the songs, while the King’s favorite mistress, the lean and haggard Madame Schulenburg (afterwards named Duchess of Kendal) was given the name of The Goose. She is the goosie referred to in this song. The blade is the Count K√∂nigsmarck. Bobbin’ John refers to John, Earl of Mar, who was at the time recruiting Highlanders for the Hanoverian cause. Geordie Whelps is, of course, George I himself.

Lunnon = London
Kittle Hoosie = Brothel
Linkin = Tripping along
Claith = Cloth
Niffer = Haggle
Gin = If
Wab = Web (or length) of cloth
Ha’s and Mailins = Houses and Farmlands
Gane = Gone
Belive = Quickly
Brawly = Wall
Hurdie = Buttock