Page images
PDF
EPUB

I am inclined to give the song to Ramsay. Duncan Forbes' right to the authorship of it is very doubtful, see vol. i. p. 122, where a song attributed to the Lord President is proved to have been published seventeen years before he was born.)

WILLIE WAS A WANTON WAG.

WILLIAM WALKINSHAW.

Willie was a wanton wag,

The blithest lad that e'er I saw ;
At bridals still he bore the brag,

And carry'd aye the gree awa:
His doublet was of Zetland shag,

And wow ! but Willie he was braw,
And at his shoulder hung a tag,

That pleas’d the lasses best of a'.
He was a man without a clag,

His heart was frank without a flaw;
And aye whatever Willie said,

It was still hadden as a law.
His boots they were made of the jag,

When he went to the weapon-shaw,
Upon the green nane durst him brag,

The fiend a ane amang them a'.
And was not Willie well worth gowd?

He wan the love of great and sma’;
For after he the bride had kiss'd,

He kiss'd the lasses hale-sale a'.
Sae merrily round the ring they row'd,

When by the hand he led them a',
And smack on smack on them bestow'd,

By virtue of a standing law.

[ocr errors]

And wasna Willie a great loon,

As shyre a lick as e'er was seen?
When he danc'd with the lasses round,

The bridegroom speer'd where he had been.
Quoth Willie, I've been at the ring ;

With bobbing, faith my shanks are sair :
Gae ca’ your bride and maidens in,

For Willie he dow do nae mair.

Then rest ye, Willie, I'll gae out,

And for a wee fill up the ring.
But, shame light on his souple snout,

He wanted Willie's wanton fling.
Then straight he to the bride did fare,

Says, well's me on your bonny face,
With bobbing Willie's shanks are sair,

And I'm come out to fill his place.

Bridegroom, she says, you'll spoil the dance,

And at the ring you'll aye be lag,
Unless, like Willie, ye advance;

O! Willie has a wanton leg ;
For wi’t he learns us a' to steer,

And foremost aye bears up the ring ;
We will find nae sic dancing here,

If we want Willie's wanton fling.

[Printed in the Tea Table Miscellany, with the letters W. W. after it. Tradition has given to a certain William Walkinshaw of Walkin. shaw in Renfrewshire, the honour of writing this very admirable song.)

TWEEDSIDE.

LORD YESTER.

Born 1615--Died 1713.

When Peggy and I were acquaint,

I carried my noddle fu’ hie;
Nae lintwhite on a' the gay plain,

Nae gowdspink sae bonnie as she.
I whistled, I pip'd and I sang ;

I woo'd but I cam' nae great speed :
Therefore I maun wander abroad,

And lay my banes far frae the Tweed,
To Peggy my love I did tell;

My tears did my passion express :
Alas! for I loved her o’er weel,

And the women love sic a man less,
Her heart it was frozen and cauld,

Her pride had my ruin decreed;
Therefore I maun wander awa',

And lay my banes far frae the Tweed,

[ocr errors][merged small]

The yellow hair'd laddie sat down on yon brae,
Cries, milk the ewes, lassie, let nane o' them gae :
And aye as she milked, she merrily sang,
The yellow hair'd laddie. shall be my gudeman.

The weather is cauld, and my claithing is thin,
My ewes are new clipped, they winna bught in:
They winna bught in, altho' I should die ;
O yellow hair'd laddie come bught them for me.

The goodwife cries butt the house, Jenny come ben,
The cheese is to make and the butter's to kirn.
Tho' butter and cheese and a’ should gang sour,
I'll crack and I'll kiss wi' my love ae half-hour.

The goodwife cried down the house, Jenny, my dow,
Thy half-hour is flown, and the ale is to brew.
Its ae lang half-hour, and we'll een mak it three,
For the yellow hair’d laddie my gudeman shall be.

« The

(From the Tea Table Miscellany, 1724. This song is in a very corrupt state, and the air is well worthy of first rate verses. Yellow Hair'd Laddie' was a favourite with Ramsay, but he was pot successful when he wrote words for it.]

THE TAILOR.

The tailor fell through the bed, thimbles an'a',
The tailor fell through the bed, thimbles an'a';
The blankets were thin, and the sheets they were sma',
The tailor fell through the bed, thimbles an'a'.

The lassie was sleepy and thought on nae ill ;
The weather was cauld and the lassie lay still ;
The ninth part of manhood may weel hae its will,
She kend that a tailor could do her nae ill.

The tailor grew drowsie, and thought in a dream
How he caulked out his claith and he felled down his

seam ;
A blink beyond midnight, before the cock craw,
The tailor fell through the bed, thimbles an'a'.
Come gie me my groat again, bonny young thing ;
The sheets they are sma', and the blankets are thin ;
The day it is short and the night it is long,
It's the dearest siller that ever I wan.

The day it is come, and the night it is gane,
And the bonnie young lassie sits sighing alane;
Since men they are scarce, it wad gie me nae pain
To see the bit tailor come skipping again.

Some of Burns' strokes

[Much of this song is old and much new. are about it.]

THE ROBIN CAME TO THE WREN'S NEST.

The robin came to the wren's nest,

And keekit in, and keekit in.
Now weels me on thine auld pow,
Wad ye be in,

wad

ye

be in ?
Ye shall never bide without,

And me within, and me within,
Sae lang's I hae an auld clout

To rowe ye in, to rowe ye in.

[ocr errors]

The robin came to the wren's nest,

And gae a peep, and gae a peep-
Now weels me on thee, cuttie quean,

Are ye asleep, are ye asleep?

« PreviousContinue »