Sangs & Clatter

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that.
Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The Man’s the gowd for a’ that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an’ a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man’s a Man for a’ that:
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that:
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
But an honest man’s abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their dignities an’ a’ that;
The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
Are higher rank than a’ that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!

 

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

There’s a good old Scottish custom that has stood the test o’time,
It’s a custom that’s been carried out in every land and clime.
When brother Scots are gathered, it’s aye the usual thing,
Just before we say good night, we fill our cups and sing…

Chorus
Just a wee deoch an doris, just a wee drop, that’s all.
Just a wee deoch an doris afore ye gang awa.
There’s a wee wifie waitin’ in a wee but an ben.
If you can say, “It’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht”,
Then yer a’richt, ye ken.

Now I like a man that is a man; a man that’s straight and fair.
The kind of man that will and can, in all things do his share.
Och, I like a man a jolly man, the kind of man, you know,
The chap that slaps your back and says, “Jock, just before ye go…”

Chorus
Just a wee deoch an doris, just a wee drop, that’s all.
Just a wee deoch an doris afore ye gang awa.
There’s a wee wifie waitin’ in a wee but an ben.
If you can say, “It’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht”,
Then yer a’richt, ye ken.

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I’ll ne’er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy:
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never lov’d sae kindly,
Had we never lov’d sae blindly,
Never met-or never parted,
We had ne’er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweeli alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne. 
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne. 
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne. 
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne. 
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne.

Aye Waukin o
Summer’s a pleasant time 

Flowers of every colour 

The water runs o’er the heugh 

And I long for my true lover 

Aye waukin-O 

Chorus    

Waukin still and weary 

Sleep I can get nane 

For thinking of my dearie 

Ay waukin, O.

When I sleep I dream 

When I wake I’m eerie 

Sleep I can get nane 

For thinking of my dearie 

Ay waukin, O.

 

Chorus    

Waukin still and weary 

Sleep I can get nane 

For thinking of my dearie 

Ay waukin, O.

Lonely night comes on 

And all the lave are sleepin’ 

I think on my bonnie lad/lass 

And blur my eyes wi’ weepin’ 

Aye waukin-O

 Chorus    

Waukin still and weary 

Sleep I can get nane 

For thinking of my dearie 

Ay waukin, O.

Waukin still and weary 

Sleep I can get nane 

For thinking of my dearie              

Aye waukin-O 

Tae the lairds o’ convention t’was Claverhouse spoke
E’er the Kings crown go down, there are crowns to be broke
Then each cavalier who loves honour and me
Let him follow the bonnet o’ bonnie Dundee.

Chorus
Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can
Come saddle my horses and call out my men
Unhook the west port and let us gae free,
For it’s up wi’ the bonnets o’ bonnie Dundee!

Dundee he is mounted, he rides doon the street,
The bells they ring backwards, the drums they are beat,
But the Provost, douce man, says “Just e’en let it be
For the toun is well rid of that de’il o’ Dundee.”

Chorus
Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can
Come saddle my horses and call out my men
Unhook the west port and let us gae free,
For it’s up wi’ the bonnets o’ bonnie Dundee!

There are hills beyond Pentland and lands beyond Forth,
Be there lords i’ the south, there are chiefs i’ the north!
There are brave Duinnewassels, three thousand times three
Will cry “Hey!” for the bonnets o’ bonnie Dundee.

Chorus
Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can
Come saddle my horses and call out my men
Unhook the west port and let us gae free,
For it’s up wi’ the bonnets o’ bonnie Dundee!

Then awa’ to the hills, to the lea, to the rocks
Ere I own a usurper, I’ll crouch with the fox
And tremble, false whigs, in the midst of your glee
Ye hae no seen the last o’ my bonnets and me!

Whaur hae ye been sae braw, lad?
Whaur hae ye been sae brankie-o?
Whaur hae ye been sae braw, lad?
Come ‘ye by Killiecrankie-o?


Chorus
An’ ye had been whaur I hae been
Ye wadna been sae cantie-o
An’ ye had seen what I hae seen
On the braes o’ Killiecrankie-o

I fought at land, I fought at sea
At hame I fought my auntie-o
But I met the Devil and Dundee
On the braes o’ Killiecrankie-o

 Chorus

An’ ye had been whaur I hae been
Ye wadna been sae cantie-o
An’ ye had seen what I hae seen
On the braes o’ Killiecrankie-o

 The bauld pit cur fell in a furr

And Clavers gat a crankie-o
Or I had fed an Athol gled
On the braes o’ Killiecrankie-o

Chorus
An’ ye had been whaur I hae been
Ye wadna been sae cantie-o
An’ ye had seen what I hae seen
On the braes o’ Killiecrankie-o

Oh fie, MacKay, What gart ye lie
I’ the brush ayont the brankie-o?
Ye’d better kiss’d King Willie’s lofe
Than come tae Killiecrankie-o

 

Chorus
An’ ye had been whaur I hae been
Ye wadna been sae cantie-o
An’ ye had seen what I hae seen
On the braes o’ Killiecrankie-o

 

It’s nae shame, it’s nae shame
It’s nae shame to shank ye-o
There’s sour slaes on Athol braes
And the de’ils at Killiecrankie-o

Chorus
An’ ye had been whaur I hae been
Ye wadna been sae cantie-o
An’ ye had seen what I hae seen
On the braes o’ Killiecrankie-o

Chorus.-ALL

Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,

Ca’ them where the heather grows,

Ca’ them where the burnie rowes,

My bonie dearie

Ladies; As I gaed down the water-side,

There I met my shepherd lad:

He row’d me sweetly in his plaid,

And he ca’d me his dearie.

Chorus.-ALL

Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,

Ca’ them where the heather grows,

Ca’ them where the burnie rowes,

My bonie dearie

Men; Will ye gang down the water-side,

And see the waves sae sweetly glide

Beneath the hazels spreading wide,

The moon it shines fu’ clearly.

 

Chorus.-ALL

Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,

Ca’ them where the heather grows,

Ca’ them where the burnie rowes,

My bonie dearie

Men; Ye sall get gowns and ribbons meet,

Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet,

And in my arms ye’se lie and sleep,

An’ ye sall be my dearie.

 

Chorus.-ALL

Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,

Ca’ them where the heather grows,

Ca’ them where the burnie rowes,

My bonie dearie

Ladies; If ye’ll but stand to what ye’ve said,

I’se gang wi’ thee, my shepherd lad,

And ye may row me in your plaid,

And I sall be your dearie.

 

Chorus.-ALL

Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,

Ca’ them where the heather grows,

Ca’ them where the burnie rowes,

My bonie dearie

While waters wimple to the sea,

While day blinks in the lift sae hie,

Till clay-cauld death sall blin’ my e’e,

Ye sall be my dearie.

 

Chorus.-ALL

Ca’ the yowes to the knowes,

Ca’ them where the heather grows,

Ca’ them where the burnie rowes,

My bonie dearie

‘Twas on a Monday morning,
Right early in the year,
That Charlie came to our town,
The young Chevalier.

Chorus-An’ Charlie, he’s my darling,
My darling, my darling,
Charlie, he’s my darling,
The young Chevalier.

As he was walking up the street,
The city for to view,
O there he spied a bonie lass
The window looking through,

 Chorus-An’ Charlie, he’s my darling, 

My darling, my darling,
Charlie, he’s my darling,
The young Chevalier.

Sae light’s he jumped up the stair, 
And tirl’d at the pin; 

And wha sae ready as hersel’
To let the laddie in.

Chorus-An’ Charlie, he’s my darling,
My darling, my darling,
Charlie, he’s my darling,
The young Chevalier.

 

He set his Jenny on his knee,
All in his Highland dress;
For brawly weel he ken’d the way
To please a bonie lass.

Chorus-An’ Charlie, he’s my darling,
My darling, my darling,
Charlie, he’s my darling,
The young Chevalier.

 

It’s up yon heathery mountain,
An’ down yon scroggie glen,
We daur na gang a milking,
For Charlie and his men,

Chorus-An’ Charlie, he’s my darling,
My darling, my darling,
Charlie, he’s my darling,
The young Chevalier.

 

Sweet closes the ev’ning on Craigieburn Wood
And blythely awaukens the morrow;
But the pride o’ the spring on the Craigieburn Wood
Can yield me naught but sorrow.


cho: Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, dearie,
And O, to be lying beyond thee!
O, sweetly, soundly, weel may he sleep
That’s laid in the bed beyond thee!


I see the spreading leaves and flowers,
I hear the wild birds singing;
But pleasure they hae nane for me,
While care my heart is wringing.
I can na tell, I maun na tell,
I daur na for your anger;

 

Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, dearie,
And O, to be lying beyond thee!
O, sweetly, soundly, weel may he sleep
That’s laid in the bed beyond thee!

But secret love will brak my heart,
If I conceal it langer.
I see thee gracefu, straight, and tall,
I see thee sweet and bonie;
But O, what will my torment be,
If thou refuse thy Johnie!

Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, dearie,
And O, to be lying beyond thee!
O, sweetly, soundly, weel may he sleep
That’s laid in the bed beyond thee!

 

To see thee in another’s arms
In love to lie and languish,
‘Twad be my dead, that will be seen-
My heart wad burst wi anguish!
But, Jeanie, say thou wilt be mine,
Say thou lo’es nane before me,
And a’ my days o’ life to come
I’ll gratefully adore thee.

 

I’ve just come down
From the Isle of Skye
I’m not very big and I’m awful shy
And the lassies shout when I go by
Donald, where’s your troosers

[Chorus:]
Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

A lassie took me to a ball
And it was slippery in the hall
And I was feared that I would fall
For I had nae on my troosers

Donald, where’s your troosers

[Chorus:]
Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

Now I went down to London Town
And I had some fun in the underground
The ladies turned their heads around
Saying, Donald, where are your trousers

 

[Chorus:]
Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

To wear the kilt is my delight
It is not wrong I know it’s right
The Highlanders would get a fright
If they saw me in the trousers

 

[Chorus:]
Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

The lassies want me every one
Well, let them catch me if they can
You canna take the breaks
If a Highland man
And I don’t wear the troosers

[Chorus:]

Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

 

 

 

O flower of Scotland
When will we see your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

The hills are bare now
And autumn leaves lie thick and still
O’er land that is lost now
Which those so dearly held
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

Those days are passed now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again
That stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

When o’er the hill the eastern star
Tells bughtin time is near, my jo,
And owsen frae the furrow’d field
Return sae dowf and weary O;
Down by the burn, where birken buds
Wi’ dew are hangin clear, my jo,
I’ll meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind Dearie O.

At midnight hour, in mirkest glen,
I’d rove, and ne’er be eerie, O,
If thro’ that glen I gaed to thee,
My ain kind Dearie O;
Altho’ the night were ne’er sae wild,
And I were ne’er sae weary O,
I’ll meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind Dearie O.

The hunter lo’es the morning sun;
To rouse the mountain deer, my jo;
At noon the fisher seeks the glen
Adown the burn to steer, my jo:
Gie me the hour o’ gloamin’ grey,
It maks my heart sae cheery O,
To meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind Dearie O.

By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes 
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond 
Me and my true love were ever wont to gae 
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond 

Chorus 
Ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak the low road 
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye 
But me and my true love will never meet again 
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond 

‘Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen 
On the steep, steep side of Ben Lomond 
Where in the purple hue the hieland hills we view 
And the moon coming out in the gloaming 

Chorus 
Ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak the low road 
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye 
But me and my true love will never meet again 
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond 


The wee birdies sing and the wild flowers spring 
And in sunshine the waters are sleeping 
But the broken heart it kens nae second spring again 
And the waefu’ may cease frae their greetin’ 

Chorus 
Ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak the low road 
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye 
But me and my true love will never meet again 
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond 

Farewell ye dungeons dark and strong,
Farewell, farewell tae thee,
MacPhersons time will no be lang,
On yonder gallow’s tree

 

It was by a woman’s treachorous hands,
That I was condemned to dee,
She stood uben a windae ledge,
and a blanket threw o’er me

(chorus)
Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,
Ans sae dauntingly gaed he,
He played a tune and he danced around
Below the gallow’s tree
(chorus)

Oh what is death, but parting breath
On mony a bloody plain
I’ve daur’d his face, and in his place
I scorn him yet again

(chorus)

I have lived a life, o’ straught and strife
I die by treachery
It burns my heart, that I must depart
An no avenged be

(chorus)

So tak these bands fae aff my hands
Gae to me my sword
There’s nae a man in a’ Scotland
But I’ll brave him at a word

(chorus)

Now farewell light thou sunshine bright
And all beneath the sky
May coward shame distain his name
The wretch that dare not die

(chorus)

 

My love, she’s but a lassie yet,
My love, she’s but a lassie yet;
We’ll let her stand a year or twa,
She’ll no be half sae saucy yet;
I rue the day I sought her, O!
I rue the day I sought her, O!
Wha gets her needs na say she’s woo’d,
But he may say he’s bought her, O.

Come, draw a drap o’ the best o’t yet,
Come, draw a drap o’ the best o’t yet,
Gae seek for pleasure whare you will,
But here I never miss’d it yet,
We’re a’ dry wi’ drinkin o’t,
We’re a’ dry wi’ drinkin o’t;
The minister kiss’d the fiddler’s wife;
He could na preach for thinkin o’t.

Chorus.-You’re welcome, Willie Stewart,
You’re welcome, Willie Stewart,
There’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May,
That’s half sae welcome’s thou art!

Come, bumpers high, express your joy,
The bowl we maun renew it,
The tappet hen, gae bring her ben,
To welcome Willie Stewart,

Chorus.-You’re welcome, Willie Stewart,
You’re welcome, Willie Stewart,
There’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May,
That’s half sae welcome’s thou art!

May foes be strang, and friends be slack
Ilk action, may he rue it,
May woman on him turn her back
That wrangs thee, Willie Stewart,

Chorus.-You’re welcome, Willie Stewart,
You’re welcome, Willie Stewart,
There’s ne’er a flower that blooms in May,
That’s half sae welcome’s thou art!

Oh the summertime is coming
And the trees are sweetly blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather
Will ye go, Lassie go?


Chorus
And we’ll all go together
To pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will ye go, Lassie go?

I will build my love a tower
Near yon’ pure crystal fountain
And on it I will build
All the flowers of the mountain
Will ye go, Lassie go?

Chorus
And we’ll all go together
To pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will ye go, Lassie go?

If my true love she were gone
I would surely find another
Where wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather
Will ye go, Lassie go?

Chorus
And we’ll all go together
To pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will ye go, Lassie go?

Beauty is within grasp
Hear the highlands call
The last mile is upon us
I’ll carry you if you fall
I know the armour’s heavy now
I know the heart is tired
It’s beautiful just over
The wild mountainside

Snow is falling all over
Out of clear blue skies
Crow is flying high over
You and I are going to wander
High up where the air is rare
Wild horses ride
It’s beautiful, just roamin’
The wild mountainside

Wild and free we’ll roam
Only a mile to go

Wild and free we’ll roam
Only a mile to go

Beauty is within grasp
Hear the highlands call
The last mile is upon us
I’ll carry you if you fall
I know the armour’s heavy now
I know the heart inside
It’s beautiful just over
The wild mountainside
It’s beautiful let’s go over
The wild mountainside

Let’s go over, let’s go roamin’

Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear, give an ear,
Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear,
Ye Jacobites by name,
Your fautes I will proclaim,
Your doctrines I maun blame, you shall hear.

What is Right, and What is Wrang, by the law, by
the law?
What is Right and what is Wrang by the law?
What is Right, and what is Wrang?
A short sword, and a lang,
A weak arm and a strang, for to draw.

What makes heroic strife, famed afar, famed afar?
What makes heroic strife famed afar?
What makes heroic strife?
To whet th’ assassin’s knife,
Or hunt a Parent’s life, wi’ bluidy war?

Then let your schemes alone, in the state, in the state,
Then let your schemes alone in the state.
Then let your schemes alone,
Adore the rising sun,
And leave a man undone, to his fate.

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

When chapmen billies leave the street,
And drouthy neibors, neibors meet,
As market days are wearing late,
An’ folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
And getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky sullen dame.
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

This truth fand honest Tam o’ Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses
For honest men and bonie lasses.)

O Tam! had’st thou but been sae wise,
As ta’en thy ain wife Kate’s advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was nae sober;
That ilka melder, wi’ the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That every naig was ca’d a shoe on,
The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;
That at the Lord’s house, even on Sunday,
Thou drank wi’ Kirkton Jean till Monday.
She prophesied that late or soon,
Thou would be found deep drown’d in Doon;
Or catch’d wi’ warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway’s auld haunted kirk.

Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
To think how mony counsels sweet,
How mony lengthen’d, sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises!

But to our tale:– Ae market-night,
Tam had got planted unco right;
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi’ reaming swats, that drank divinely
And at his elbow, Souter Johnny,
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony;
Tam lo’ed him like a vera brither–
They had been fou for weeks thegither!
The night drave on wi’ sangs and clatter
And ay the ale was growing better:
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
wi’ favours secret,sweet and precious
The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
The landlord’s laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.

Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E’en drown’d himsel’ amang the nappy!
As bees flee hame wi’ lades o’ treasure,
The minutes wing’d their way wi’ pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious.
O’er a’ the ills o’ life victorious!

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white–then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow’s lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.–
Nae man can tether time or tide;
The hour approaches Tam maun ride;
That hour, o’ night’s black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
And sic a night he taks the road in
As ne’er poor sinner was abroad in.

The wind blew as ‘twad blawn its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow’d
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow’d:
That night, a child might understand,
The Deil had business on his hand.

Weel mounted on his gray mare, Meg–
A better never lifted leg–
Tam skelpit on thro’ dub and mire;
Despisin’ wind and rain and fire.
Whiles holding fast his gude blue bonnet;
Whiles crooning o’er some auld Scots sonnet;
Whiles glowring round wi’ prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares:
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.

By this time he was cross the ford,
Whare, in the snaw, the chapman smoor’d;
And past the birks and meikle stane,
Whare drunken Chairlie brak ‘s neck-bane;
And thro’ the whins, and by the cairn,
Whare hunters fand the murder’d bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Whare Mungo’s mither hang’d hersel’.–
Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars thro’ the woods;
The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Near and more near the thunders roll:
When, glimmering thro’ the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem’d in a bleeze;
Thro’ ilka bore the beams were glancing;
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi’ tippeny, we fear nae evil;
Wi’ usquabae, we’ll face the devil!–
The swats sae ream’d in Tammie’s noddle,
Fair play, he car’d na deils a boddle.
But Maggie stood, right sair astonish’d,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish’d,
She ventured forward on the light;
And, vow! Tam saw an unco sight

Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Nae cotillion brent-new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
A winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o’ beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He scre’d the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a’ did dirl.–
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That shaw’d the dead in their last dresses;
And by some develish cantraip slight,
Each in its cauld hand held a light.–
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murders’s banes in gibbet-airns;
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristen’d bairns;
A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
Wi’ his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi blude red-rusted;
Five scymitars, wi’ murder crusted;
A garter, which a babe had strangled;
A knife, a father’s throat had mangled,
Whom his ain son o’ life bereft,
The gray hairs yet stack to the heft;
Wi’ mair o’ horrible and awfu’,
Which even to name was be unlawfu’.
Three lawyers’ tongues, turn’d inside out,
Wi’ lies seam’d like a beggar’s clout;
Three priests’ hearts, rotten, black as muck,
Lay stinking, vile in every neuk.

As Tammie glowr’d, amaz’d, and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
The piper loud and louder blew;
The dancers quick and quicker flew;
They reel’d, they set, they cross’d, they cleekit,
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it in her sark!

Now Tam, O Tam! had thae been queans,
A’ plump and strapping in their teens,
Their sarks, instead o’ creeshie flannen,
Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linnen!
Thir breeks o’ mine, my only pair,
That ance were plush, o’ gude blue hair,
I wad hae gi’en them off my hurdies,
For ae blink o’ the bonie burdies!

But wither’d beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Louping and flinging on a crummock,
I wonder did na turn thy stomach!

But Tam kend what was what fu’ brawlie:
There was ae winsome wench and waulie,
That night enlisted in the core,
Lang after ken’d on Carrick shore;
(For mony a beast to dead she shot,
And perish’d mony a bonie boat,
And shook baith meikle corn and bear,
And kept the country-side in fear.)
Her cutty-sark, o’ Paisley harn
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho’ sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie,-
Ah! little ken’d thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for he wee Nannie,
Wi’ twa pund Scots, (’twas a’ her riches),
Wad ever grac’d a dance of witches!

 

But here my Muse her wing maun cour;
Sic flights are far beyond her pow’r;
To sing how Nannie lap and flang,
(A souple jade she was, and strang),
And how Tam stood, like ane bewitch’d,
And thought his very een enrich’d;
Even Satan glowr’d, and fidg’d fu’ fain,
And hotch’d and blew wi’ might and main;
Till first ae caper, syne anither,
Tam tint his reason ‘ thegither,
And roars out, “Weel done, Cutty-sark!”
And in an instant all was dark:
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.

As bees bizz out wi’ angry fyke,
When plundering herds assail their byke;
As open pussie’s mortal foes,
When, pop! she starts before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When “Catch the thief!” resounds aloud;
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
Wi’ mony an eldritch skriech and hollo.

Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou’ll get thy fairin’!
In hell they’ll roast thee like a herrin’!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy commin’!
Kate soon will be a woefu’ woman!
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
And win the key-stane o’ the brig;
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross.
But ere the key-stane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake!
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi’ furious ettle;
But little wist she Maggie’s mettle –
Ae spring brought off her master hale,
But left behind her ain gray tail;
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

No, wha this tale o’ truth shall read,
Ilk man and mother’s son take heed;
Whene’er to drink you are inclin’d,
Or cutty-sarks run in your mind,
Think! ye may buy joys o’er dear –
Remember Tam o’ Shanter’s mare.