“The Brisk and Bonny Lass (The Brisk and Bonny Lad)”

Alternate titles: “The Country Lass”; “Harvest Home Song”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1891 (Barrett)
Keywords: courting farming harvest work dancing nonballad worker
Found in: Britain(England(South))


Cheerful description of the life of a farm girl. She wakes at dawn and milks the cows as the larks sing; at haying time they go dancing, At harvest they work, then celebrate; even in winter, all are happy; she declares herself content to be a country lass


With mechanization and the change from female to male labor on farms, some versions have switched the sex of the narrator. - PJS

Sometimes in midstream, in fact.

I find myself wondering if this didn't start out as a fragment of a proper ballad about a brisk farm girl, with the actual plot (about a marriage, perhaps? -- the beginning of the song sounds very much like a ballad of that type) being broken off and replaced by these lyrics. - RBW

Cross references



  1. Kennedy 244, "The Brisk and Bonny Lass" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #606
  3. BI, K244