John of Hazelgreen

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John of Hazelgreen or Jock O'Hazeldean is Child ballad 293. Jock o'Hazeldean was a poem based on a fragment of the ballad by Sir Walter Scott. Versions of the ballad were published by Chambers, Kinloch and Buchan. The version printed by John S. Roberts (1887) was compiled from those of Kinloch and Buchan.[1]


A man asks a maid why she is weeping; it is for the love of John of Hazelgreen. He offers to marry her to his oldest, or youngest, son if she will forsake him, and she refuses. Nevertheless, he takes her with him, and he proves to be John of Hazelgreen's father, and informs his son that he is marrying her that day.

The Jock of Hazeldean version has a different plot. The father of the groom tries to reconcile the woman to marrying his son, but she is utterly passive in the face of her prospective father-in-law's enticements, replying only by weeping. However, at the very end of the song, she turns out to have been playing a waiting game; she has disappeared with her lover Jock O'Hazeldean, eloping across the English-Scottish border.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roberts, John S., ed. (1887) The Legendary Ballads of England and Scotland. London: Frederick Warne; pp. 151-54

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