“Geordie's Courtship (I Wad Rather a Garret)”

Alternate titles: “Plooman Geordie”
Author: probably John Milne
Earliest date: 1871 (Milne's Selection of Songs and Poems)
Keywords: courting rejection curse
Found in: Britain(Scotland)


"A maid of vain glory, with grandeur and pride Was asked by a ploughman for to be his bride." She rejects him, saying she would prefer to be hanged. He lists his assets. She still scorns him. He concludes, "I swear you shall never get me for a man."


That this is a composed song is beyond doubt. My only hesitation in attributing it to Milne is the diversity of the forms found in tradition; nearly every collection has a different title and even some difference in form. It's hard to imagine that much variation arising in the few decades between Milne's publication and the early collections.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if this were inspired by "The Courting Case" or something similar. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Ord, pp. 204-205, "Geordie Asking Miss Tiptoe in Marriage" (1 text)
  2. Roud #5067
  3. BI, Ord204B