by William Smyth (1765 - 1849)

The sweetest lad was Jamie
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
The sweetest lad was Jamie,
  The sweetest, the dearest;
And well did Jamie love me,
  And not a fault has he.
Yet one he had, it spoke his praise,
He knew not woman's wish to teaze,
He knew not all our silly ways,
  Alas! The woe is me!

For though I loved my Jamie
  Sincerely and dearly,
Yet, often when he woo'd me,
  I held my head on high;
And huffed and tossed with saucy air,
And danced with Donald at the fair,
And placed his ribbon in my hair,
  And Jamie, -- passed him by.

So, when the war-pipes sounded,
  Dear Jamie he left me,
And now some other maiden
  Will Jamie turn to woo.
My heart will break, and well it may,
For who would word of pity say
To her who threw a heart away,
  So faithful and so true?

Oh! Knew he how I loved him,
  Sincerely and dearly!
And I would fly to meet him,
  Oh! happy were the day!
Some kind, kind friend, oh! come between,
And tell him of my altered mien!
That Jeanie has not Jeanie been
  Since Jamie went away!

About the headline (FAQ)

View text with footnotes
Confirmed with William Smyth, English Lyrics, London, William Pickering, 1850, pages 165-166.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

  • by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827), "The sweetest lad was Jamie", op. 108 (25 schottische Lieder mit Begleitung von Pianoforte, Violine und Violoncello) no. 5 (1815). [voice, violin, violoncello, piano] [
     text verified 1 time

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , title 1: "Der schönste Bub war Henny, der schönste, der beste!"
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Le plus doux garçon était Jamie", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani

This text was added to the website: 2004-08-18
Line count: 32
Word count: 188