Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

I'll Make You Fain To Follow Me

Scottish Song

I'll Make You Fain To Follow Me (also known as 'I'll Mak You Be Fain To Follow Me') is a Scottish song, sung to the tune which first appeared in Margaret Sinkler's 'Musick Book' of 1710, 'I'll mak you be fain to follow me'.

The earliest known appearance of this version was in Allan Ramsay's 'Tea-Table Miscellany' in 1724-1727.

The composition below is as altered and enlarged by Mr Cunningham, (Songs of Scotland, II. 340.) The original song is in the Scots Musical Museum, vol. III. 1790.


Related Scottish Country Dances

I'll Mak' Ye Fain To Follow Me

I'll Make You Fain To Follow Me

As late by a sodger I happen'd to pass,
I heard him courting a bonnie young lass:
My hinnie, my life, my dearest, quo' he,
I'll make you be fain to follow me.
Gin I were to follow a poor sodger lad.
Ilk ane o' our maidens would think I was mad;
For battles I never shall long to see.
Nor shall I be rain to follow thee.

come wi' me, and I'll make you glad,
Wi' part o* my supper, and part o' my bed;
A kiss by land, and a kiss by sea,
1 think ye'll be fain to follow me.
O care or sorrow no sodgers know,
In mirth we march, and in joy we go;
Frae sweet St Johnston to bonnie Dundee,
Wha wadna be fain to follow me?

What heart but leaps when it lists the fife?
Ilk tuck o' the drum's a lease o' life-
We reign on earth, we rule on sea;
A queen might be fain to follow me.
Her locks were brown, her eyes were blue,
Her looks were blithe, her words were few-
The lads o' Dumfries stood staring dumb,
When sweet Jenny Primrose follow'd the drum.


Related - I'll Gar Ye Be Fain

From The Book of Scottish Song (1843) Edited By Alexander Whitelaw.

[Both the tune and the words of the song, "I'll gar ye be fain to follow me," are old. We give the version of it as altered and enlarged by Allan Cunningham.

Most readers will remember the use made of this song in the historical novel of "Old Mortality," when Jenny Dennison obtains access for her mistress and herself to the imprisoned Morton, through means of her influence over Tam Halliday, the soldier on guard, and her characteristic female strategy. The passage is worth quoting. It will be observed that Sir Walter does not keep strictly to the words of the song.-"Halliday, with his carabine on his arm, walked up and down the gallery, occasionally solacing himself with a draught of ale, a huge flagon of which stood upon the table at one end of the apartment, and at other times humming the lively Scottish air,

'Between St. Johnstone and bonnie Dundee,
I'll gar ye be fain to follow me.'

Jenny Dennison cautioned her mistress to let her take her own way. 'I can manage the trooper weel enough,' she said, 'for as rough as he is-I ken their nature weel; but ye manna say a single word.' She accordingly opened the door of the gallery just as the sentinel had turned his back from it, and taking up the tune which he hummed, she sung in a coquettish tone of rustic raillery,

'If I were to follow a poor sodger lad,
My friend wad be angry, my minnie be mad:
A laird or a lord they were fitter for me,
Sae I'll never be fain to follow thee'-

'A fair challenge, by Jove,' cried the sentinel turning round; 'but it's not easy to bang the soldier with his bandoleers;'-then taking up the song where the damsel had stopt,

'To follow me ye weel may be glad,
A share of my supper, a share of my bed;
To the sound of the drum to range fearless and free,
I'll gar ye be fain to follow me.'-

'Come, my pretty lass, and kiss me for my song,'" etc.]

As late by a sodger I happen'd to pass,
I heard him courting a bonnie young lass:
My hinnie, my life, my dearest, quo' he,
I'll make ye be fain to follow me.
Gin I were to follow a poor sodger lad,
Ilk ane o' our maidens would think I was mad;
For battles I never shall long to see,
Nor shall I be fain to follow thee.

O come wi' me, and I'll make you glad,
Wi' part o' my supper, and part o' my bed;
A kiss by land, and a kiss by sea,
I think ye'll be fein to follow me.
O' care or sorrow no sodgers know,
In mirth we march, and in joy we go:
Fra sweet St. Johnstone to bonnie Dundee,
Wha wadna be fain to follow me?

What heart but leaps when it lists the fife?
Ilk tuck o' the drum's a lease o' life-
We reign on earth, we rule on sea;
A queen might be fain to follow me.
Her locks were brown, her eyes were blue,
Her looks were blythe, her words were few-
The lads o' Dumfries stood staring dumb,
When sweet Jenny Primrose follow'd the drum.


I'll Make You Fain To Follow Me Song Video

I'll Make You Fain To Follow Me Song - Information Video
I'll Make You Fain To Follow Me, Glen Collection of Printed Music
I'll Make You Fain To Follow Me, From Glen Collection Of Printed Music, Scottish Songs, Volume 1, Page 279, c. 1829


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Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original The Book of Scottish Song/I'll gar ye be fain. article on Wikisource.
Image copyright (cropped) https://digital.nls.uk/special-collections-of-printed-music/archive/90293464 under this Creative Commons Licence 4.0.

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