‘Sovay’ is a traditional English folk song about a young woman who dresses and arms herself as a highwayman in order to test her suitor. In disguise she robs her suitor of nearly all his possessions, but even under threat of death he refuses to give up the gold ring given by Sovay, thus proving his devotion. Sovay subsequently confesses the ruse to her lover and returns his various possessions, admonishing him only that had he indeed given up the ring, she would have killed him.

The name ‘Sovay’ is probably a corruption of ‘Sophie’ or ‘Sylvie’ – both of which appear instead in some versions of the song.

The Kate Bush song Babooshka, in which a wife disguises herself to test her husband’s loyalty, was inspired by the story of Sovay.