Alexander Boswell.

Songs, chiefly in the Scottish dialect online

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SONGS,



CHIEFLY IN THE



SCOTTISH DIALECT.



Nulla venenato iitera mixta joco eft.



EDINBURGH:

PRINTED FOR MANNERS & MILLER,

By Mundell ^ Son.

1803.



Several of the following Songs having been
printed in Edinburgh and Glafgow without
the Author^s permiilion, and with alterations
which he did not confider as improvements,
he has been induced to prelent them to the
Public in a more corred form.



M 3542



SONG.

THE MAID OF ISLA *.

HE.

Ah, Mary ! fweeteft maid, fareweel !
My hopes are flown, for a's to wreck j '
Heaven guard you, love, and heal
Your heart, though mine, alas ! maun break.



Deareft lad, what ills betide ?
Is Willie to his love untrue ?
Pledg'd the morn to be your bride,
O ha'e ye, ha'e ye ta'en the rue ?



Ye canna wear a ragged gown.
And beggar wed wi' nought ava j
My kye are loft, my houfe is down,
My laft fheep lies aneath the fnaw.



* The air is a reel of the ifland of Ifla, brought over by Lady Charlotte
Campbell. Like many others, when played flow, it is very plaintive.

A



,' so;^St



SHE.



Tell na nie o' ftorm or flood.
Or flieep a' fmoor'd ayont the hill ;
For Willie's fake I Willie loo'd ;
Though poor, ye are my Willie ft ill.



Ye carina thole the wind and rain.
Nor wander friendlefs far frae hame j
Cheer, cheer your heart, fome richer fvvain
Will foon blot out loft Willie's name.

SHE.

I'll tak my bundle i' my hand.
And wipe the dew-drap frae my ec ;
I'll wander wi' ye owr the land,
I'll venture wi' ye owr the fea.

HE.

Pardon, love, 'twas a' a fnare *,
My flocks are fafc, we need na part 5
I'd forfeit them, and ten times mair,
To clafp thee, Mary, to my heart.



SONGS.



SHE.



Could ye wl' my feelings fport.
Or doubt a heart fae kind and true ?
I {hould wifli mifchief on ye for't,
But canna wifh ought ill to you.



A2



SONGS.



SONG*.



Let my lafs be young, my wine be old,
My cottage fnug, friends never cold.
My life no tedious tale twice told,
And happy fhall I be.

Tempt me not with pageant power,
Give me not the mifer's hoard,
May contentment cheer my bower,
And plenty deck my board.

The felfifli wretch in pride may roll.
And viands cull from pole to pole.
My purfc (hall ferve each kindred foul.
And fet the haplefs free.

Thefe, when partial Fate has given
Thefe with health to tafte the Itore,
Earth itfelf becomes a heaven,

And nought to wifh for more.

• The air Js altered from one in an Italian opcr



SONGS. 5

SONG.

EAST NEUK o' FIFE.

SHE.

AuLD gudeman, ye're a drunken carle, drunken carle j
A' the lang day ye are winkin', drinkin', gapin', gauntin' •,
O' fottilh loons ye're the pink and pearl, pink and pearl,
Ul-far'd, doited ne'er-do-weel.



Hech, gudewife, ye're a flytin' body, flytin' body ;

Will ye ha'e walth, troth, but gude be prais'd, the Wit*s

awantin' ;
The puttin' cow fou'd be aye a doddy, aye a doddy.
Mak na fie an awefome reel.

SHE.

Ye're a fow, auld man,
Ye get fou, auld man ;
Fye ftiame, auld man.
To your wame, auld man,
Pinch'd I win, wi' fpinnia' tow,
A plack to dead yer back and pow.
A3



SONGS.



HE.



It's a lie, gudewife,

It's yer tea, gudewife ;

Na, na, gudewife.

Ye fpend a', gudewife ;
Dinna fa* on me pell-mell.
Ye like a drap fou weel yerfel.

SHE.

Ye's rue, auld gowk, yer jcft and frolick, jeft and frolick j
Dare ye fay, goofe, I ever lik'd to tak a drappy ?
In't werena juft aiblins to cure the cholick, cure the cholick,
De'il a drap wad weet my mou.

HE.

Troth, auld gudewife, ye wad na fwither, wad na fwither.
Soon foon to tak a cholick, whan it brings a cappy 5
But twa fcore o' years we ha'e fought thegither, fought
Time it is to gree, I trow. [thegither.



SHE.



I'm wrang, auld John,
Owr lang, auld John,



SONGS.

For nought, gude John,
We ha'e fought, gude John j
Let's help to bear ilk ither's weight.
We're far owr fecklefs now to fecht.

HE.

Ye*re right, gudewife.
The night, gudewife,
Our cup, gude Kate,
We'll fup, gude Kate ;
Thegither frae this hour we'll draw.
And toom the ftoup atween us twa.



A4



8 SONGS.

SONG.

jenny's bawbee *.

I MET four chaps yon birks amang,
Wi' hingin' lugs and faces lang ;
I fpeer'd at neebour Bawldy Strang,

Wha's they I fee ?
Quo' he, ilk cream- fac'd, pawky chiel.
Thought himfel' cunnm' as the de'il.
And here they cam, awa to Ileal

Jenny's bawbee.

The firft, a captain till his trade,
Wi' fkull ill-lin'd, and back weel clad,
March'd round the barn and bye the flied.

And pap'd on his knee.
Quo' he, *' My goddefs, nymph and queen,
Your beauty's dazzled baith my een ;"
But de'il a beauty he had feen

But — Jenny's bawbee.

• As this fong has been very unfairly interpreted, the Author takes this
opportunity of unequiTOcally dilavowing any allufion to individuals. Let
the blame reft with thofc who applied it, and thofe who felt the applica-
tion.



SONGS.

A lawyer nieft, wi' blathrin' gab,
Wha fpeeches wove like ony wab,
In ilk ane's corn aye took a dab,

And a' for a fee :
Accounts he had through a' the town,
And tradefmens tongues nae mair could drown ;
Haith now he thought to clout his gown

Wi' Jenny's bawbee.

A Norland laird nieft trotted up,

Wi' bawfen'd naig and filler whup,

Cried ** There's my beaft, lad, had the grup.

Or tie't till a tree.
What's gowd to me, I've walth o' Ian',
Beftow on ane o' worth yer han' •"
He thought to pay what he was awn

Wi' Jenny's bawbee.

A' fpruce, frac ban'boxes and tubs,

A THING cam nieft, (but life has rubs),

Foul were the roads, and fou the dubs.

Ah ! waes me !



10 SONGS;

A' clatty, fquintln' through a glafs,
He girn'd, " I'faith a bonnie lafs !"
He thought to win, wi' front o' brafs,

Jenny's bawbee.

She bade the laird gang comb his wig,
The foger no to ftrut fae big,
The lawyer no to be a prig,

The fool cry'd « Tehee,
I kent that I could never fail !"
She prin'd the diihclout till his tail.
And cool'd him wi' a water- pail.

And kept her bawbee.



SONGS. II



SONG.



JENNY DANG THE WEAVER,

At Willie's wedding o' the green,
The lafles, bonny witches.
Were bufked out in aprons clean.
And fnaw-white Sunday's mutches.
Auld Mayfie bade the lads tak tent.
But Jock wad na believe her.
But foon the fool his folly kent,
For — Jenny dang the Weaver.

In ilka countra dance and reel
Wi' her he wad be babbin' j
When (he fat down, then he fat down,
And till her wad be gabbin' j
Whare'er fhe gaed, or butt or ben,
The coof wad never leave her,
Aye cacklin' like a clockin' hen,
But Jenny dang the Weaver.



12 SONGS.

Quoth he, " My hfs, to fpeak my mind,

Gude haith I needna fwither,

Ye've bonny een, and gif ye're kind,

I needna court anither."

He humm'd and haw'd, — the lafs cried pheugh.

And bade the fool no deave her,

Then crack'd her thumb, and lap, and leugh,

And daijg the filly Weaver.



SONGS. 13



SONG.

THE CHANGE OF EDINBURGH.

tlECH ! what a change ha'e we now in this town !
A' now are braw lads, the lalTcs a' glancin' ;
Folk maun be dizzie gaun aye in the roun'.
For de'il a haet's done now but feaftin' and dancin'.

Gowd's no that fcanty in ilk filler pock,
When ilka bit laddie maun ha'e his bit ftagie ;
But I kent the day when there was nae a Jock
But trotted about upon honeft fhanks-nagie.

Little was ftown then, and lefs gaed to wafte,
Barely a mullin for mice or for rattens,
The thrifty houfewife to the flefh-market pac'd,
Her equipage a' — juft a gude pair o' pattens.

Folk were as good then, and friends were as leal.
Though coaches were fcant, wi' their cattle a-cantrin' j
Right air we were tel't by the houfemaid or chiel.
Sir, an ye pleafe, here's yer lafs and a lantern.



14 SONGS.

The town may be clouted and piec'd till it meets
A' neebours benorth and befouth without haltin*.
Brigs may be biggit owr lums and owr ftreets.
The Nor-loch itfel* heaped heigh as the Calton :

But whar is true friendfhip, and whar will you fee
A' that is gude, honeft, modeft and thrifty ?
Tak grey hairs and wrinkles, and hirple wi' me,
And think on the feventeen hundred and fifty.



SONGS. 15

SONG.

TO AN IRISH AIR.

By the late James Bo/welly Efq.

O Larghan Clanbrassil, how fweet is thy found !
To my tender remembrance as Love's facred ground ;
For there Marg'ret Caroline firft charm'd my fight.
And fill'd my young heart with a flutt'ring delight.

When I thought her my own, ah ! too fliort feem'd the day
For a jaunt to Downpatrick, or a trip on the fea ;
To exprefs what I felt then, all language were vain,
'Twas in truth what the poets hzvejludied to feign.

But too late I found even (he could deceive,
And nothing was left but to weep, figh, and rave ;
Difl:ra£led I fled from my dear native (hore,
Refolv'd to fee Larghan Clanbrassil no more.

Yet ftill in fome moments enchanted I find
A ray of her fondnefs beam foft on my mind ;
While thus in blefs'd fancy my angel I fee.
All the world is a Larghan Clanbrassil to me.



1 6 SONGS.

SONG.

SHELAH o'nEAL *.

Oft I went to her.

To figh and to woo her ;

Of mighty fine things did I fay a great deal ;

Above all the reft.

What ftiU pleas'd her the beft,

Was, " Och ! will you marry me, Shelah O'Neal ?'

My point I foon carried.

For faft we got married ;

The weight o' my bargain I then 'gan to feel j

She fcolded and fifted,

O then I enlifted.

Left Ireland, and whifky, and Shelah O'Neal.

But tir'd and dull-hearted.

My corps I deferted.

And fled off to regions far diftant from home.

To Frederick's army.

Where nought was to harm me.

Not the devil hinifelf in the fhape of a bomb.

* The air compofed by the Author.



SONGS. 17

I fought ev'ry battle.

Where cannon did rattle,

Felt fharp (hot, alas ! and their fliarp-pointed fteel ;

But in all the wars round,

Thank my ftars, I ne'er found

Ought fo fliarp as thy tongue, O curs'd Shelah O'Neal.



1 8 SONGS.

SONG.

freu't euch des libens.

CHORUS.

Tafte life's glad moments
Whilft the wafting taper glows.
Pluck, ere it withers,
The quickly fading rofe.

jVIan blindly follows grief and care.
He feeks for thorns, and finds his (hare,
Whilft vi'lets to the pafling air
Unheeded (hed their bloflbms.

Chorus.

Though tim'rous nature veils her form,
And rolling thunder fpreads alarm ;
Yet, ah ! how foft, when luU'd the ftorm.
The fun fmiles forth at ev'n !

Chorus.



• Tranflated at Leipfick in 1795. Several verfions of this fong have
been publiflicd. If this is the leaft elegant, it is perhaps the moft literal.



SONGS. 19



To him who Spleen and Envy flies.
And meek Contentment well can prize,
The humble plant a tree fhall rife,
"Which golden fruit will yield him.

Chorus.

Who fofters Faith in upright breaft,
And freely gives to the diftrefs'd,
There fhall Contentment build her neft.
And flutter round his bofom.

Chorus.

And when Life's path grows dark and ftrait.
And prefling ills on ills await.
Then Friendship, forrow to abate.
The helping hand will offer.

Chorus.

She dries his tears — flie flrews his way,
Ev'n to the grave, with flow'rets gay ;
Turns night to morn, and morn to day.
And pleafure flill increafes.

Chorus.



20 SONGS.

Of Life {he is the fairefl band,
Joins brothers truly hand in hand j
Thus onward, to a better land,
Man journeys light and cheer'ly.

CHORUS.

Tafte life's glad moments
"Whilft the wafting taper glows,
Pluck, ere it withers.
The quickly fading rofe.



SONGS. 21

SONG.

Air — Soger Laddie,

SHE.

Come reft ye here, Johnnie — what news frae the fouth ?
Here's whey in a luggie to flocken yer drouth :
Our fogers are landed — my hopes are maift dicing ;
I'm fear'd, John, to fpeir if my Jamie's in being.

HE.
Aye, troth lafs they're landed, and norward they're comin*,
In braw order marchin', wi' fifin' and drummin' ;
I felt my grey plaid, my cald winter's warm happin'.
To cheer their leal hearts wi' a gill and a chappin.

Yer father's gude-brither, the ferjeant, wi' glee,
Pu'd a crown frae his pouch, and loud laughin', quo' he,
" Ye're owr auld to lift, or ye'd rug this faft frae me.
fJ Mair drink here !"



But John, O, nae news o' poor Jamie ?
B3



'22 SONGS.

HE.

Tlie de'il's i' the laflie, there's nought in her noddle,
But J mie, aye Jamie j (he cares na ae boddle
For grey-headed heroes. — Weel, what fhould I fay now ?
The ducW Tafe and weel, and what mair would ye hae
now ?

SHE.

He's weel ! gude be prais'd, my dear laddie is weel !
Sic news ! hech man, John, ye're a fonfie auld chiel !
I'm doited or daiz'd, it's fu' time I were rinnin',
The wark might be done or I think o' beginnin'.

I'll rin like a mawkin, and bufk in my braws.
And link owr the hills whar the caller wind blaws.
And meet the dear lad wha was true to me ever.
And, dorty nac mair, O I'll part wi' him never.



SONGS. 23

ON THE FIDELITY OF THE HIGHLANDERS IN THE
REBELLION I 745-6.

Fatal the caufe to the fons of the hill.
Who rufh'd to the ftandard, the boaft of a day ;
More fatal the * captain whofe mercilefs will
Bade fweep the bold chief and his vaflals away.

Scotland belov'd ! for the blood of thy fons
Ah never again fpread the heath-cover'd plain !
Thou ftream of the mountain, that wandering runs,
Ah never be purpled by fadion again !

Ill-fated Stuart ! thy hopes we bemoan ;

Bold, rafti, and ardent, deceiv'd and elate,

The crown of your fathers you fought as your own.

Unaided by Britain, and thwarted by fate.

Difown'd by the land that your fathers had fway'd.
Ah ! why didft thou roufe the calamitous flame ?
In vain were the clans in thy legions array'd.
For vi£tims they fell to a defpernte claim.

• Alluding to the feverities which were inflided after the battle of
CuUoden, altogether omitted in Home's Hiftory of the Rebellion.

B4



24 SONGS.

Fierce and untamM, yet devoted to thee,
Proud that their death ftiould their loyalty feal
In the torrent of battle, the block, or the tree ;
Though blind and miftaken, we honour their zeal.

The * chieftain undaunted prefs'd onward, and fell,
Firm to the laft, in the face of his clan ;
The wandering hind did his duty as well.
And feeking thy fafety, did honour to man.

To virtue awake, to fidelity true ;
Wealth with difhonour was fpurn'd by the brave.
O Charles ! while in pity we forrow for you.
Exulting we'll think on | Glenmorrifton's cave.



* Macdonald of Keppoch.

■f The cave where feven Highlanders concealed Charles Stuart, and in
ilifguife procured neceflaries and information. Although fugitives and in
poverty, thefe feven had the noblenefs of mind to prefer fidelity to the
man whom they confidered as their prince to 30,000!., the reward offered
for his perfon. See Home's Hifory.



SONGS. 2$



SONG.



TO A GERMAN AIR.



Ah, life is but a dream !
Still from futurity we borrow
The pleafing hope of new delight ;
The hours pafs on, and coming night
Foretels that joy (hall deck to-morrow :
It corned — we find, alas ! in forrow,
That life is but a dream.



26 SONGS,



DRINKING SONG.



Wenn's immer fo war.



Here's a toaft — charge your glafles — your bumpers arc

Then quick feize the bottle and pufli it about ; [out,

Don't fill on a heel-top, it is not decorous ;

Like true thirfty fouls let us drink what's before us,

Be it wine from the Rhine, France, Oporto, or Spain.

Ah, could we thus merry for ever remain !

For ever, for ever, for ever remain !

True topers drink all things from claret to ale ;

The butt may be finidi'd, but we'll never fail :

We'll ne'er pick a quarrel whatever the liquor ;

If ftrong, we'll drink flower, if weak, we'll drink quicker ;

Whate'er makes us merry we'll never difdain.

Ah, could we thus happy for ever remain !

For ever, for ever, for ever remain !

The Turks, who are ninnies, to drink never dare,
But with poifonous opium deaden their care ;



SONGS. I'J

In fleepy ftupidity vie with each other,

And one napping Muflulman fnores to his brother ;

But we tafte delight, not mere abfence from pain.

Ah, may we thus happy for ever remain !

For ever, for ever, for ever remain !



2ft SONGS.



SONG.

BRAES OF OCHTERTYRZ.

Quick beats my fever'd brain,
Diftradion fhakes my wafting frame ;
Dark feems the new day,
And darker ftill to-morrow 5
Wild are the images
That rufh upon me at her name.
Yet not a tear bedews this cheek,
So pale and wan with forrow :

For low beneath yon grafTy turf
Soft flumbers all I e'er could prize.
Death ftruck the dread blow,
And murder'd peace and pleafure :
Soon, ah foon, this heart muft break !
How keen thefe feeUngs agonize !
Loft for ever to my fight,
The grave holds my foul's treafure.



SONGS.

Time was, with joyful flep

I haften'd here at eventide ;

Life fled, too fleeting

The hours with her beguiling :

Mild {hone the fetting fun.

And ting'd with gold yon mountain's fide ;

Mild were his laft rays

That fmil'd on Mary fmiling.

He fet — and with him fet thofe orbs
That beam'd ferenity and love j
Cold grew that warm heart —
Ah, would that mine were colder !
With Mary perifh'd ev'ry joy-
Peace beckons only from above.
The laft fad wifh this heart can frame
Is here with her to moulder.



29



30 SONGS.

SONG.

THE exile's return.

AiK— 'Loch Erroch Side.
I

iriARSH is he who brands with fhame
A loyal Scot's unfullied name ;
True his heart and fair his fame

Who now in dufl Is fleeping.
From Stuarts flow'd our wealth and pride —
My fire on lov'd Loch Erroch Side
The fummons heard — he fought and died,

And left his orphan weeping.

Ah ! had he liv'd to mark the fate

Of thofe who brav'd cool William's hate.

Then had he drank the dregs, though late.

Of forrow's bitter potion.
Heir of misfortune, not difgrace,
Shame ne'er crimfon'd o'er my face ;
The lone loft remnant of our race,

I crofs'd the Weftern Ocean.



SONGS.

My fortunes bounteous Heaven blefs'd,
My wealth increasM, lov'd and carefs'd,
Yet ftill my foul in vain fought reft

Amidft thefe friends carefling.
To tread again my native fliore,
To fhare with thofe I lov'd my ftore,
To fee Loch Erroch Side once more,

Beam'd hope's benigneft blefTmg

Ah ! little reck'd I midft my fears
The havoc of the lapfe of years.
Since beggar'd, fatherlefs, in tears,

I haften'd far from danger.
How falfe the picture fancy drew,
How chang'd thofe fcenes that well I knew !
No friend is left — Scotland adieu !

I am indeed a ftranger.



31



34 SONGS.

DUET.

CAPTAIN O'FLYN AND MISS DOLLY O'lYNN.



Ein madchen oder werbchen.



Capt. On charms of wit and beauty
My heart's too prone to doat ;
But prudence, teaching duty.
Cries, Love won't boil the pot.

Oh could I but hit on an heirefs.
Who in fome old Tabitha's care is,
I'd take her for better for worfe.
With money enough in her purfe.

Mifs, The Captain is quite pleafing ;

Pray who can fay he's not ?

But is it not quite teazing,

He is not worth a groat ?

Oh could I but hit on an Earl,
And in a gay equipage whirl,
I'd take him for better for worfe.
With money enough in his purfe.



SONGS. 33



Capt. Since Fate then is fo cruel,

'Tis better for to part,
Mifs. Than ride, my deareft jewel.

Together in a — cart.
Capt, "What fignifies making wry faces ;
Mifs. Let's part in each others good graces.
Both. You never can hit on a worfe.

For I have not a coin in my purfe.



SONG.

THE OLD CHIEFTAIN TO HIS SONS.

GuDE night and joy be wi' ye a' ; ^

Your harmlefs mirth has cheer'd my heart :
May life's fell blafts out o'er ye blaw !
In forrow may ye never part !

My fpirit lives, but ftrength is gone ;
The mountain fires now blaze in vain :
Remember, fons, the deeds I've done.
And in your deeds I'll live again.



34 SONGS.

When on yon muir our gallant clan
Frae boafting foes their banners tore,
Wha ftiow'd himfel a better man.
Or fiercer wav'd the red claymore ?

But when in peace — then mark me there—
"When through the glen the wanderer came,
I gave him of our hardy fare,
I gave him here a welcome hame.

The auld will fpeak, the young maun hear ;
Be canty, but be gude and iiel ;
Your ain ills aye ha'e heart to bear,
Anither's aye ha'e heart to feel.

So, ere I fet, Fll fee you flilne,

I'll fee you triumph ere I fa' -,

My parting breath fhall boaft you mine :

Gude night and joy be wi* ye a'.



END OF PART I.



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Online LibraryAlexander BoswellSongs, chiefly in the Scottish dialect → online text (page 1 of 1)