“The Bonny Boy (I)”

Alternate titles: “Cupid's Trappan”; “The Bonny Bonny Bird”; “I Once Loved a Girl”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (Chappell dates it to "the reign of Charles II")
Keywords: courting separation loneliness abandonment betrayal love
Found in: US(MA,MW) Ireland


The girl says, "I once had a boy, a bonny bonny boy, / A boy that I thought was my own." But the boy has taken another girl. She adds, "Let him go... I never will mourn." The ending varies; she may unsuccessfully seek another or refuse to do so

Cross references



  1. Eddy 90, "Now, My Bonny, Bonny Boy" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  2. FSCatskills 37, "The Bonny Boy' (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Sharp-100E 52, "My Bonny, Bonny Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. SHenry H215, pp. 393-394, "The Bonny Bonny Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Roud #293
  7. BI, FSC037