Young Johnnie More goes to London as a soldier and falls in love with the king's daughter. The king decides to hang him. Johnnie is doped with lodomy [laudanum] and captured. He asks for a little boy to go to his uncle, a giant, in Bennachie with a letter. His uncle and another giant called Jock o the North come to the gates, where a trumpeter tells Old John that a big Scot is going to be hanged tomorrow. He demands admittance, is told that the gatekeeper does not have the key, and kicks down the wall.
He finds Young Johnnie and asks if he is being hanged for murder or robbery, as there would be no remedy for that. He is told that Johnnie is being hanged for loving the king's daughter. The two giants demand that he be freed, and go to the King, who is surprised at the height of the men. The King threatens to have the boy hanged, but they tell him if he does he will be 'rewarded'. He tells them to take the lady, and Johnnie calls for a priest so he and the lady can be married. They all return to Bennachie.
Text transcribed in School of Scottish Studies. 39 verses with refrain. Cf. 'Jack the Little Scot' (which Child regards as distinct) and 'Johnnie Buneftan' (Kinloch p. 78).
Greig-Duncan vol. 2, pp. 209-219
'Ancient Ballads and Songs' vol. 1 (P. Buchan, 1828, 1875) pp. 242-250