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Mary of Argyle

from The First Sangs by Iona Fyfe

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Written by two Englishmen most likely around 1850. ‘Bonny Mary’ was otherwise known as ‘Highland Mary’. Mary Campbell 1763-1786 died tragically young. It is thought that Burns had asked her to accompany him on his journey to Jamaica, but she died before they left. The song is found in a Broadside with the possible period of publication being 1860-1880.


I hae heard the mavis singing,
His love song tae the morn,
I hae seen the dew-drop clingin
Tae the rose jist newly born;
But a sweeter song has cheered me
At the evening's gentle close,
And I’ve seen an eye still brighter
Than the dew-drop on the rose.
'Twas thy voice, my gentle Mary
And thy artless winning smile,
That has made this world an Eden,
Bonnie Mary of Argyle

Tho thy smile may lose its sweetness
And thine eye its brightness too,
Tho thy step may lack its fleetness
And thine hair its sunny hue ;
Still tae me will thou be dearer
Than all the world shall own ;
I hae loved thee for thy beauty
But not for that alone:
I hae watched thy hairt dear Mary
And its goodness was the wile,
That has made thee mine for ever
Bonnie Mary of Argyle


from The First Sangs, released March 1, 2015
Iona Fyfe: vocals, piano


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Iona Fyfe Scotland, UK

Aberdeenshire folksinger, Iona Fyfe, has become one of Scotland’s finest young folk singers, rooted deeply in the singing traditions of the North East of Scotland.The youngest ever winner of Scots Singer of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018, Iona has been described as “one of the best Scotland has to offer.” (Global-Music.de)

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