The Bonnie Earl of Moray is a traditional Scottish ballad, author unknown, that commemorates the death of James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray at the hands of George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly on the 8th February 1592. There appear to be two distinct versions of the poem; the first is more of a simple lament for the death of the Earl of Moray, whilst the second version includes a more detailed account of the murder.

Version A

Ye Highlands and ye Lawlands,
O where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl o' Moray,
And hae laid him on the green.

Now wae be to thee, Huntley!
And whairfore did ye sae!
I bade you bring him wi' you,
But forbade you him to slay.

He was a braw gallant,
And he rid at the ring;
Ana the bonny Earl o' Moray,
O he might hae been a king!

He was a braw gallant,
And he play'd at the ba';
And the bonny Earl o' Moray
Was the flower amang them a'!

He was a braw gallant,
And he play'd at the gluve;
And the bonny Earl o' Moray,
O he was the Queen's luve!

O lang will his Lady
Look owre the Castle Downe,
Ere she see the Earl o' Moray,
Come sounding through the town!

Version B

Open the gates,
and let him come in;
He is my brother Huntly,
he'll do him nae harm."

The gates they were opent,
they let him come in,
But fause traitor Huntly,
he did him great harm.

He's ben and ben,
and ben to his bed,
And with a sharp rapier
he stabbed him dead.

The lady came down the stair,
wringing her hands:
"He has slain the Earl o Moray,
the flower o Scotland."

But Huntly lap on his horse,
rade to the king:
"Ye're welcome hame, Huntly,
and whare hae ye been?

"Whare hae ye been?
and how hae ye sped?"
"I've killed the Earl o Moray,
dead in his bed."

"Foul fa you, Huntly!
and why did ye so?
You might have taen the Earl o Moray,
and saved his life too."

"Her bread it"s to bake,
her yill is to brew;
My sister's a widow,
and sair do I rue."

"Her corn grows ripe,
her meadows grow green,
But in bonny Dinnibristle
I darena be seen."

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