Rare's Hill (The Back o' Reres Hill)

Traditional

Audio

This example of "Rare's Hill" is performed by the Liza Kay
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Last year at Lady Mary's fair when I was in Dundee,
I fell in with an old sweetheart and he being on a spree
His company I did accept and with him I did go;
All to my sad misfortune for it proved my overthrow. 

We wandered east, we wandered west, we wandered round the Law.
He said he'd take me home that night but home I never saw.
He kept beside me all the while resolved to have his will,
And by and by we lost our way at the back of Rare's Hill.

For when we got to Rare's Hill, the laddie said to me,
"We can't go home tonight my dear, it's far to late you'll see,
"But the night is warm and in my pouch, I have another gill;
"So let us lay down here content, at the back of Rare's Hill."

We had another nip a piece to quieten our alarms,
When I awoke in the morning we were locked in each other's arms;
He handed me the bottle, another glass to fill
And I drank his heath and store o' wealth, at the back of Rare's Hill.

And then the lad he said to me, "Oh lassie do not mourn."
"For while I have the breath of life, fae you I'll never turn."
"If you will come to yonder town, my wedded wife you'll be;"
"we'll be the happiest couple t'was ever in Dundee."

So it's may I never prosper, and may I never thrive,
In anything I take in hand as long as I'm alive;
If  e'er I say I rue the day, my laddie had his will,
Success to Lady May's fair, and the back of Rare's Hill.

Note from Liza: I think there's another verse somewhere but that happened a lot with this type of story song. Verses got altered or even discarded at times. I can't be sure of the date but I'd venture to guess around 1650's to 1700.
We've updated the lyrics here to take into account the excellent discussion on the song at Mudcat Cafe.
If you know more about this song, or can cite a printed source, please tell us
Thanks to Susan-Marie Stedman for filling in a missing verse!
    'through = a poor thought or bad idea
    lawn = green fields
    drill = flask of alcohol
    nipper piece = drink
    bush = camp