The Banff and Buchan Collection

close window to return to index

Tape 1994.018 transcription

Word Search page:
      PC Control+F
Mac Command+F

Ae Market Day in Huntly toon, it's there I did agree
Wi Bogieside yon fairmer a sax month for tae fee.

Noo Bogie hid a dauchter braw, her name wis Isabel.

Noo, I'm sorry I've made a mistak ere, there's nae muckle wrang. There's twa versions, can we start? Put it back? Aye. We'll have a go again.

Ae market day in Huntly toon, it's there I did agree
Wi Bogieside yon farmer, a sax month for tae fee.

Noo Bogie wis a surly carl, and I did know that well
But Bogie hid a dochter hid a dochter braw, and her name it wis Belle.

Noo Belle she wis the bonniest lass for a the country wide
And very soon I lost ma hairt to the Belle o Bogieside.

And often on a summer's nicht, I'd wander wi ma dear
Tae watch that trooties loupin in Bogie's watter clear.

Noo efter some sax months had gaen, auld Bogie come tae me
And says wi face as black as nicht, it's you I want to see.

If what my daughter says is true, we can nae langer agree
And doon the road ye'll gang withoot a penny o yer fee.

Says I, auld man yer fairly richt and hung ma heid in shame
But I will marry Belle the morn and gie tae her ma name.

Wi that he cursed and swore and spat and said that raither he
Would see his daughter lyin deid than mairried untae me.

Noo me jist bein a fairm chiel, I thocht he wis gey sair
Wi the thocht o haein tae pairt fae Belle I didnae say nae mair.

So I packed ma kist and left the toon, ma Belle I didnae see
And doon the road I gaed withoot the wages due tae me.

Noo they say she's mairried a tinkler chap, he's nicknamed Soutar John
She hacks his pails and roosers, a roon by Foggie Loan.

And they say auld Bogie rues the day that he did rave and yell
But it wis me first the won the hairt o Bogie's bonnie Belle.

That's Bogies Bonnie Belle, wi a chauve! [Laughs.]
[TM] Where did you get that.

[GE] Oh well, I canna tell ye really. Bogies Bonnie Belle. Jist listenin tae the recordins, I canna exactly say.

I've got a book ere, Bothy Ballads.

[MrsE] ??

[GE] At's right aye.

[TM] Oh yes.

[GE] He wis a bobby in Glasgae, fae the North East, he'd like it a lot. I dinna approve o them a, but there's a lot o good stuff. He's a lot o his collections nae my wey, uh huh. Some o ma granny's versions, I think, well I wouldnae say it if I didnae think it, but I honestly think they're better than some o the ballads, there's an affa material in there.

[TM] Do you sing any songs that your granny song.

[GE] Nae sic a lot, she used tae sing Within a Mile o Edinburgh Toon, and The Bonnie Wails o Wearie, and The Bonnie Woods o Loudon, Within a Mile o Edinburgh Toon. And och, countless, countless. No, I ken I hiv them a in ma heid, but I dinna sing them. No, it's jist mair the bothy style mair that I've gotten in. Oh no, they wouldnae be ill tae get them. Auld Black Jug, oh gosh I could go on and on and on and on. She had an affa number o ballads that she sang, aye and Scottish songs tae, the Rothesay Bay and jist a that kind o Scottish songs tae. A the ballads like.

[TM] What about something like 'Dowie Dens of Yarrow'

[GE] Aye, she worked awa, but I dinna dae it either no. It's eh, well it's a real traditional ballad tae The Dowie Dens, oh aye, it's een o the main original fit they classed as the big ballads. Uh huh. But no, I dinna sing it. I could almost but I dinna, I wouldnae attempt it, nae withoot… and seen, that's anither thing at's een o ma shortfalls, I dinna practice onything, jist you getting the nicht fits comin oot, eh, I'm trustin tae memory, cause I hinna sung at things for ages. And if ye're gan fae venue tae venue, singin the same things ilky nicht, ye canna forget them, at's the wey mebbe this last few nichts that I've been oot within this district, well ye ging tae different places but I've tried tae keep them near enough the same, cause I hiv them ye ken mair in ma mind. A song at ye hisnae been sung this while, though ye ken gey well it's affa foo it leaves ye. I've a good memory, but I think it's beginnin tae slip tae.

For tunes and songs and words and roads, ye ken I could nearly tak ye ilky road throughoot Scotland, aye aff the main highways. We hid nivver time tae ging for holidays, we couldnae afford it onywey, but we'd aye stock, we'd aye coos, calfies and sheep, and vegetables and athing. So we took a day off every wik maistly, especially when the kids were younger, and we'd aye a good car, and we took off, we files did 400 miles on a Sunday, it's aye a Sunday. A roon trip ye ken, ye'd tae get sey far, ye'd tae come back. Well it is, but we enjoyed it. That wis the hicht o the summer ye see, ye widnae hae done that. Left eight o'clock in the mornin sometimes, nicht ere ye wis hame. And eh, great runs, we gaed tae Ullapool, we gaed tae Mallaig, we gaed tae Lairg and across tae Ullapool and other wey we gaed tae Golspie and Grannie's Hielan Hame, Dornoch, and och Invergordon. And up tae Inverness and doon tae Fort William, and doon tae Kinloch Leven and through Glencoe, doon tae Crianlarich, Strathyre, Comrie, Crieff, Dunkeld, Blairgowrie, ower the Devil's Elbae, hame. Even fae Ballatar, it's a hunner mile hame here. Eh, fae Braemar I mean, uh huh, at least. 60 mile fae Aberdeen, aye it's a hunner mile. It's a lot o drivin, but I enjoyed driving at that time. And eh, apart fae at langer runs we've daen a the local glens ye ken, Strathdon, Glenlivet and Dee and a the Angus glens. And ach, I'd better shut up. But it's jist something that sticks in my mind. I could tak ye back tae every spot yet ye ken. Well we gaed doon tae Ethel, she got mairried and stayed in Edinburgh and we aye gae a different wey, we nivver gaed straight doon, we often gaed by Speyside and doon by aye, Linlithgow, as you said again, by Falkirk, and through Linlithgow, and intae Edinburgh. And seen, efter we're doon ere, we got Ethel tae drive cause she kent a the Border country, she did a lot o runnin ere, and she took us through here, there and awey, the days that we were doon, and through the Borders. Oh I love the Borders, to Lanark and various places. And a roon Edinburgh, a the places, the Dean Brig, the Dean Village, ye ken. Hiv ye ever been ere?

[TM] Oh yes.

[GE] Aye. Oh no, it's jist great. Well it's a tune the Dean Brig o Edinburgh. And there it goes on. And oh no, we've seen an affa lot, although I wis never a lang time fae home, because I couldnae. Nah. And it's only efter we got aulder we got a neighbour, tae, efter we cut doon a bittie tae we managed tae dae at. But Ethel gaed, wi Ethel, every summer Ethel had aye a good car, she had a little van for her job, and they gaed awa for a wik's holidays aye, Ethel took her mum wi her and I bothied and kept things goin there. And they sa an affa lot o the country, roon the North o Scotland, and doon the West, and, och jist various weys.

[MrsE] Bed and Breakfast we used to ???

[GE] Bed and Breakfast. And seen Ethel's hubby he wis wi GEC, he hid a gey good job ere, and he wis kinda chief at the Loch Awe power station, doon at ???. So they stayed at a residential caravan ere for, a year ?

[MrsE] Until Richard was ready to go to school.

[GE] Aye, aye, they hid tae move tae Edinburgh seen. Uh huh. Alec's folk, aye Ethel's husband's folk came fae Edinburgh. In fact they inherited the family hoose, and they moved tae Edinburgh efter Richard wis school age. But they stayed in a residential caravan. We were doon twa summers eh, for at least a week, in god, we'd toured a, ken the Crinan Canal and eh, the Brig ower the Atlantic, far the, oh gosh the name's escapes me.

Bonnie Bessie Logan, she's handsome, young and fair
And the very wind it blows, it lingers in her hair
She's aye sae fleet and bonnie as she steps ower the lee
But bonnie Bessie Logan was ower-young for me.

Noo bonnie Bessie Logan, a the lads they like her style
And can voyer up the pathway jist tae see winning smile
I fain would be among them, but na that cannae be
For bonnie Bessie Logan she's ower-young for me.

Noo bonnie Bessie Logan, she stole my hairt awa'
And fen I think upon her noo the tears doon softly fa'
But I'll hae tae live wioot her until the day I die
For bonnie Bessie Logan aye, she's ower-young for me.

Noo bonnie Bessie Logan, I sa her late yester een
Wi a rosebud in her bosom, aye and love licht in her een
I would fear the lad that pu'd that rose, is gang tae win his plea
For bonnie Bessie Logan aye, she's ower young for me.

At's Bonnie Bessie Logan

[TM] And where did you pick that one up?

[GE] Oh man I canna tell ye that either. Bonnie Bessie Logan. Ah well, ma granny sang that tae. John Mearns I believe sang't, the late John Mearns, aye. Jist anither sang that I took a fancy till.
Bessie Logan, Bonnie Bird o Burn.

[MrsE] Taen prizes wi it!

[GE] Aye, hiv, aye that's a traditional, that's nae a bothy ballad, at's traditional, oh aye, I've taen trophies wi at an a. Bessie Logan.

06 The Bonnie Border Burn (background)
[GE] The Bonnie Border Burn. Dae ye want it?

[TM] Yes I haven't heard of that one.

[GE] Now, I wonner far Dick, I canna gie ye the wi'oot a map, I jist canna think, I've been tryin tae think in atween hands.

[MrsE] We wis jist spikkin aboot it the ither day.

[GE] Aye, uh huh. Oh its common, we've been through the places too. Ere's two places jist, oh mebbe five mile atween each ither, and either would be Dick's address, he's jist atween the twa. He's a fairm worker, and eh, he's a great band. Dick Black. And he composes lots, and eh, the Lass o Cornhill is anither composition o his tae, nae oor Cornhill in Banffshire, but the Cornhill doon in the Borders aside Selkirk, and eh, at wis a lassie that they were well acquaint wi, she wis an affa bonnie lass. Eh, et he composed at, and she died wi some, oh I canna mine, cancer or something, aye. Eh the Lass o Cornhill.

[MrsE] ???

[GE] Uh huh. He's an affa good singin voice tae, and there's four o them in this group and they're really great, they're great tae dance till. Eh. Bogies Bonnie Belle. Bonnie Bird o Burn? De ye want it? At's A. Noo, I'll hae tae think like hell.

When I wis jist a laddie in yon lang summer days
Foo often I wid wander oot ower yon heather braes
And when my hairt grew weary, it's then my steps would turn
Tae the place that I loo dearly by that Bonnie Border Burn

It wis there I met a lassie in a sunny April morn
Her smile wis shy and glancin and her hair like ripenin corn
Oh sey happy we did wander and she promised tae return
Tae the place we baith loo dearly, by yon Bonnnie Border Burn

We wandered by the water, and the oors flew swiftly by
Wi heard the laverock singin and the curlew's haunting cry
When the meen crept ower the hillside, it's then wir steps would turn
And hand in hand we'd wander by yon Border Burn

But mony years hae gaen noo, and we're baith turnin grey
We've traivelled far the gither since we met yon April day
But still I loo that lassie and when my hairt dis yearn
In memory let me wander by yon bonny Border Burn
Aye and fancy let me wander by yon Bonny Border Burn.

[TM] That's lovely.

[GE] It's a good song that I think. Well it took my fancy again.

[TM] And did he make the tune as well.

[GE] Aye, oh at's a Dick Black's material.

[TM] It's a bonny tune as well.

[GE] Now, do you like the Lass o Cornhill. It's a good een. It's much on much the same theme. It wis A, I think this een is D.

When I gaed by the border side, a lass I chanced tae see
We newsed a while and then says I, would ye like tae walk wi me
We wandered on doon by the Tweed and then doon by the mill
She said her faither ca'd the ploo on a fairm at Cornhill

The nicht wis fair as on we gaed, oh time we took nae heed
As throw the trees the meen shone bricht alang the banks o Tweed
We wandered on doon by the Mains, where a wis quiat and still
Twas there I kissed the bonny lass, the lass fae Cornhill

We stood a while doon by the brig, I socht tae see her hame
And promised as we said guid nicht, that we would meet again
But noo that lassie's a my ane, aye my thochts she'll fill
Sey dear tae me, she'll always be the lass fae Cornhill

As I gaed by the border side, a lass I chanced tae see
We newsed a while and then says I, would ye like tae walk wi me
We wandered on doon by the Tweed and then doon by the mill
I'll ne'er forget the nicht I met the lass fae Cornhill

That's the Lass o Cornhill.

[TM] Another lovely one. Is that Dick Black as well?

[GE] It's good.

[TM] He is good.

[GE] Uh huh. Well now, fit's is, Jimmy Raeburn, de ye want Jimmy Raeburn?

[TM] Mm hmm.

[GE] [Laughs.] You refuse nothing.

[TM] That's right. Oh I like Jimmy Raeburn.

[GE] Here's the Second Post Office, is is jist an in between.

[TM] What's that one?

[GE] Second Post Office, jist a story, I'll try and nae play up the thing. Well we gaen awa tae Fyvie. A disabled club?

[MrsE] Yes the Christmas lunch.

[GE] It's nae disabled club, fit de ye ca them?

[MrsE] Eh, the day care.

[GE] Aye, the day care folk, and this wis their Christmas lunch and we wis invited, well I wis invited up tae entertain them. So Isabel gaed along, we baith got a fine Christmas lunch alang wi us, eh wi them. So it wis jist afore Christmas, we hid some late Christmas cards tae post. So we gan through Strichen, I let her aff at the post office, tae ging in and post these cards, or get stamps for them I dinna mine which. There wis een o wir lady acquaintances come oot o the post office, and they got newsin ye see, and oh what are ye daein, far ye gan the day? So she says, we're gan awa tae Fyvie. And eh, och she said, I wis jist in cashin ma pension, she says, I dae it every wik, it's jist a job ye ken, taks me oot o the hoose, jist a recreation. And Isabel said, oh well, we cash oors ilky fortnight, ye get mair money at wey. And she says 'eee div ye!'. Ere wis a minute ere the penny dropped ye ken, but Isabel says we cash oors ilky fortnight, ye get mair money at wey. Well naturally ye wid. So it wis funny. So at wis een or wir stories up at Fyvie. [Laughs.]

[MrsE] Penny dropped.

[GE] Ee div ye?

[TM] Well, I shall have to try that then.

[GE] Nicky Tams, Sleepy Toon, Lonely in the Bothy. Aye, at's here.

[GE] 'Jimmy Raeburn'

My name is Jimmy Raeburn, fae Glesgae toon I came
My place o habitation I hid tae leave in shame
For my place o habitation noo I mun gang awa
And leave the bonny hills and dells o Caledonia

It wis early in the mornin, afore the dawn o day
Our keeper he come roon to us and unto us did say
Arise ye hapless convicts, arise ye een and a
This is the day that ee mun stray fae Caledonia

We mounted the coach and oor hairts were full o grief
Our parents, wives and sweethearts could grant us no relief
Our parents, wives and sweethairts, their hairts were broke in twa
Tae see us leave the hills and dells o Caledonia

Fair weel my aged mother, I'm grieved for what I've done
I hope there's none cast up to you the race that I hae run
The Lord he will protect you fen I am far awa
Far frae fae a the hills and dells o Caledonia

Fair weel my honest father, you are the best o men
Likewise my ane true sweetheart, it's Catherine is her name
Nae mair we'll walk by Clyde's clear streams or by the broomie law
Nor see again the hills and dells o Caledonia

If we nivver met on earth again, we'll meet in heaven above
Where hallelujahs will be sung tae him whar reigns in love
Nae earthly judge shall judge us then but he who ruleth all
Far, far frae all the hills and dells o Caledonia
Far frae the bonny hills and dells o Caledonia

Noo up till aboot 1860, if ye wis coppit poochin a pheasant or a salmon oot o the river, ye wis locket up, you wis deported, there wis jist no escape for the poor man at at time o day. The lairds as sic muckle power. And ye wis deported tae Australia, at's far they got their population, and eh, the island, Tasmania. Van Demon's land, and various places ye ken, and there wis jist nae damned option, ye jist had tae go. Jist like on cattle boards, jist herded in a lump, the fittest survived, the weakest didn't. No, no there wis nae, it wis rough justice. I think at's a fetchin ballad. Well, you're mebbe different fae me, but that's the een when I heard it, I thocht, oh well, at's jist great that.

[MrsE] Ye sang it at Aiberdeen and got second place.

[GE] I got second for it in Aiberdeen, aye did I. Well they'd never heard it afore. At's a wee bittie danger, if ye're singin something new, although it is traditional. If they've never heard it afore.

[MrsE] Aye the judge.

[GE] The judges I mean, aye, some o them, some o them wouldnae. Somebody at hid a richt kind a feelin for that kinda material, and facts, woulda putten a bittie value on't. But well, I come in second for it, I wis fine pleased, dinna think itherwise. Lucky tae be in the squad. But that's the only time I've ever sung it.

[TM] Where did ye get that version o it.

[GE] Oh, it wis throw Hamish Henderson, now the School of Scottish Studies. Aye. Jessie, Jessie, oh aye, I hiv it a written up in ma book. Here's anither little thing, if ever I hid a tractor, I kept a diary o the jobs I daen every day, it wis mair for the tractor hoors and changing the ile and so forth, but also fit I did every day. But oh, it's back tae 1940 mebbe, aye, 50 years seen. And eh, I keep a copy, I div yet, I keep a copy, everything at happens. I dinna dae it every day, but I written up aye within the week, as lang as I can mine fit's been daen and eh, ah wir folk at passes on, and eh, jist onything o ony importance. Aye at's in a different part of the book like, but I kept a record o a that. And various things, so. Jessie Murray! Have ye ever heard o Jessie Murray?

[TM] Oh yes.

[GE] Aye. Well Jessie Murray sang tae, oh god, the man's name, the big man.

[MrsE] Hamish.

[GE] Hamish Henderson. Fan he wis up collectin a good lot o years ago, she come fae Buckie I think. Ye ken her? Ah well, Jessie Murray sang't, and by good luck I got it recorded at nicht. I've aye the thing set up wi onything that I'm interested in tae listen, and it's jist ready tae… ye often get a wee bittie warnin, and if it disnae turn oot by fit ye expected ye can aye scrub it aff. So I copied Jessie Murray, so my version's a wee bittie different because my granny sang that version that I sing, there's nae muckle difference but a wee bittie. So Hamish wis jist fair charmed tae get that sang fae Jessie Murray.

[TM] I've never heard that last verse.

[GE] Oh? No. Ah well, at'll be my granny's version.

[TM] It always ends before that, when I've heard it.

[GE] Oh, what's the last verse. 'If we never meet on earth again, we'll meet on heaven above'. Weel, it's jist fit ye wid naturally think, if ye're being taken awa fae yer homeland.

'If we never meet on earth again, we'll meet on heaven above,
Where hallelujahs will be sang for him who reigns in love
Nae earthly judge shall judge us then but he wha ruleth a'
Far far frae a the hills and dales o Caledonia
Far frae the bonny hills and dales o Caledonia'

The een aboot the farewell tae his dad, aye his mither tae, it's hairt searching, but till his dad.

'Farewell my honest father, you are the best o men
Likewise my ane true sweetheart it's Catherine is her name
is bittie
Nae mair we'll walk by Clydes clear streams or by the broomie law
Nor see again the hills and dales o Caledonia.

I think it's a great ballad. Oh well.

[TM] Yes it is. And your granny used to sing that tee.

[GE] Yes aye! And ma aul granda sang that tee. He had a the words and a the time, but he hidna the best o tune. Eh, he kept time and athing but his tune wisnae so good, he wisnae true. Oh ma granny wis jist spot on.

[GE] And he sang awa that sangs till himsel, ye ken, and o plenty mair.

There wis an aul man come ower the lee
(remembers) charity, tum de tum..
Wid ye no lodge a beggar man
Laddle-ee a tow-row-ray.

They took him in this auld beggar man, an he ran awa wi the dother, ye see. An ye ken a aboot it?

[TM] I've heard that one yes.

[GE] Aye, aye. Eh I dinna sing't, but it's almost there. I could easy sing it if I wished till. Eh, auld granda used tae sing at tae. Ye ken, fan he wis gan aboot his jobs, it jist a gets ingrained, I wis jist a youngster ye ken. And eh, well, mebbe, owin tae my make up I dinna ken, it's jist something that's stuck in there, and I jist mine aboot it.

[MrsE] ye've an affa memory [?].

[GE] No, no that wis mair.

The leaves were fa'in frae the birk as I gaed by the Tyrie kirk
Whaur who lets cry when it is murk, and frichen folk at Tyrie
The Tyrie kirk is auld and wee, there's nithin grand for folk tae see
But worthy bodies live and die a roon the kirk o Tyrie

Fen I wis fee'd tae farmer's loon and fustled at a muckle toon
Faith mair than eens I've sleepit soon, inside the kirk o Tyrie
Ey Sunday come a lassie fair, wi damsin een and glancin hair
I never sleepit ony mair inside the kirk o Tyrie

She sang sey sweet though ilky tune, it gar'd ma hairt gang stoon and stoon
I thocht an angel hid come doon tae sing that morn at Tyrie
We courted a the summer through, and fan the storms o winter blew
There nivver wis a lassie true as that wee lassie fae Tyrie

We courted in the bindly den, far we had kisses, nine or ten
And kent the bless that lovers ken, when hairts are young at Tyrie
I ploo'd and harra'd late in air, I steppit empty wi ma pair
And bunket a that I could spare to wed that lass o Tyrie

The wey we gaed aboot wir plan, I'll tell ye noo as brief's I can
Auld Doctor Milne, the kindly man, he tied the knot at Tyrie
Noo he hid bairns a gey guid kirn, they played aside the Tyrie burn
They nivver gaed us cause tae mourn, that day we wed at Tyrie

Sine, war brak oot wi a the deals, gaed skelpin ower the land wi squeals
And mony decent stable chiels hid caused the rue o Tyrie
There wis a sen his mither's pride, and mine as weel, he wouldnae bide
He sailed awa across the Tyrie, he's sleepin far fae Tyrie

Noo they say he's in a sojer's bed, wi glory shinin roon his head
We'd raither haen him canny laid doon by the kirk o Tyrie
We'd raither haen him canny laid doon by the kirk at Tyrie.

At's it.

[TM] That's a sad one. What war would that have been?

[GE] Oh well, noo, I canna tell ye. Nineteen hundred ye see, it must hae been the Boer War or something mebbe afore at. I canna ging intae that dates. Ye see, the second world war, 1918 wis it ye see, 14 - 18. Twas afore at.

[MrsE] 1914-18 the first world war.

[GE] Boer war possibly, don't know. But he gaed awa tae the, he'd enlisted and hidnae come back.

[TM] What was the name of the man who made that?

[GE] Oh, Alec Murison. He wis Beadle and he wis presenter at Tyrie Kirk. But he wis a native o Rosehearty, but he mairried is Tyrie lassie, and well haein connections wi the Tyrie kirk, ye'd met him ere. I think this is his life story ye see. He'd been fee'd at a fairm roon aboot Tyrie, aye. And I honestly think it's based on his actual life story.

[TM] And where did you hear it?

[GE] Oh, we've heard it steady on, ye see it's jist a local ballad. Auld granda hid a copy o it up in the side o the hingin lum and it wis taen doon … aye.

[GE] And seen there's a plooin' match, there's a local plooin match up the road here, at's aye a good ballad tae. It wis a friendly plooin match, 1866 I think it wis, 1886, 1866? Some o the two. 1886, 1866, I'm nae sure, I hiv the dates ere. It wis jist neighbours, is faimily up the road, they'd a och mebbe a forty acre place. They were masons and they had the whole o the worked the placie tae, but there wis illness, I dinna ken if it wis flus or something infection and they were a laid doon throughout the winter and their work fell ahin ye see. So a the neighbours got the gither and organised this plooin match tae ploo their land for them. So it's jist a the local folk fae roon aboot, fae Hillhied o Tyrie and Greenburn o Marna, and up aside Strichen, and fae here! In Whitebog, in the place afore, well it wis the tenant afore your dad wis in, Geordie Wallace uh huh. I canna gie ye it withoot a copy o it. Aye, I would sing tae ye, but I would need a copy.

[MrsE] Aye, ye canna sing…..

[GE] No, I hinna got it in ma heid. I hiv't almost, but I wouldn't attempt it.

[MrsE] Ma mither used tae sing it.

[GE] Oh aye, at wis taken doon fae this famous calendar o the pooch. And the, it's jist aboot the hale transaction aboot the men comin in aboot in the mornin and the fine frosty mornin, and the ploos, the cooters o the ploos glintin in the sunshine, and fit a happened. And a the sequencing a the prize winners and the rotation and their order, and it a rhymes. And eh, twenty four, twenty four pairs wis it? Aye uh huh. I'll gie ye it sometime, but I'll hae tae rake for it, I'm nae gan tae look it oot the nicht. It's nae far awa….

[TM] Someone local made that probably, at the time?

[GE] Yes it wis, it wis Murison, John Murison. His dad wis the in the neeper place across the road here, and is eh, Murison. I'm sure it wis Murison. Jaffra (Jaffrey), John Jaffra, his dad hid is place across the road here, and this wis young John Murison. And he wis an apprentice. My great granda wis a souter tae trade, and he served his time in a, ye ken there wis souters shops througoot a the district at at time o day, ye didnae ging intae the big toons there wis local souters tae dae a the repairs, and makkin sheen and a, no my great granda made sheen for the foundation. And he wis servin his apprenticeship up och aboot a mile up the road here, there wis a souter fight, ye ca'd em. My god we're rakin up tradition the nicht aren't we.! Is souter fight, and is eh, John Jaffra wis apprentice souter along wi ma granda and it wis him at composed it, and it wis affa well composed. Robbie Shepherd got a copy o it to Arthur Argo's dad, John Argo. Ye heard o Arthur Argo, ye ken o him, famous Arthur. Well John and Nan gaed tae Glasgow, their lassie wis down ere, efter. Jist tae be aside her I suppose, efter they retired fae the farmin like. And he approached Robbie, he said, if ye, see if ye can get a copy, I'm sure Gordon Easton or some o his folk his a copy. So weel, Robbie got on to me, and there wis a lot o correspondence aboot is, and a lot o publicity aboot it. And well I gaed him a copy.

[MrsE] I wrote it oot! It wisnae even photocopied!

[GE] No, no it wis a hand-written oot o the original copy, and Robbie recited it, he's done it mair than eens, ower the, Shepherd's Fancy or some o that. Some o it's Monday or Tuesday, fit day is't?

[MrsE] Monday I think it is.

[GE] Monday foreneen I think it wis aye. Welcome Monday. No fit did he ca it?

[MrsE] Meet ye Monday.

[GE] Meet ye Monday. Uh huh. Oh no, no I hid a letter o thanks fae John Argo for't and a, and Robbie wis indebted. So they're needin intae the, is thing's in Aiberdeen, the Scotch Language Society, and I think the School o Scottish Studies mebbe tae. There's a version, there's a wee bit o it, it's a shortened version, it's jist a fraction o it, in Ord's book there, but I hiv got the hale thing. And, oh christ it's gan back, back, back. Is great grandfather mairried an Esslemont as I telt ye, well it wis her father, George Esslement, at put the ploo, put his man fae here, and the ploo up tae the plooin match. He wis a champion ploo'er himsel George Esslement. He wis kinda a land steward for the Tyrie part o the Forth estate. Eh, he wis a weel educated, well he wis a bright, knowledgeable man, and he wis a ploo'er himsel tae. So he put Andrew White, the name of his servant here, put him up tae the plooin match, and he gained fourth or sixth place, I winna tell ye oot o ma mind, but it's a, it's a ..

[MrsE] In rhyme.

[GE] In rhyme, uh huh.

[TM] Is it a song or a poem.

[GE] Pardon.

[TM] Is it a song or a poem.

[GE] It's a poem, but it's also a poem, we sing it tae, fit dae we sing it tae? ….. Johnny Cope!. Well at's the best tune tae it. Sung like the Tyrie Song. It wis a poem ye see, but it wis aften sung and we aye sung't tae Johnny Cope.

It wis February 22nd. Ken is jist noo, a week seen. My god.

It wis February the 22nd, that self same day we were expectent,
A white macnagran (wis the name o the hill up here whaur the plooin)
A white macnagran wisnae vacant o men and horse that mornin.

And there it goes on. And seen there's a the, foo they drew their tickets, and for the rigs ye see, they'd tae dra tickets, jist like a lottery, tae be fair tae abody. And, oh god, ma hairt. Did ma hairt guid or something.

It made me fair excited tae see them a stand there united.

Noo, I winna ging nae further. They a drew their tickets wi anxious haund, ilky een thinkin they'd be the man tae win the prize that mornin. And thing that got tae, the dauchter, she supplied the refreshments.

Miss Mary Low attend the land, wi nimble feet and willin hand.
And gaed refresh tae every man that wis present there that mornin.

And see efter the prize winnin, he wis near haun as he heard. Ye ken I canna put it a the gither, if I div twa three wordies in front.

When the horse are in the stable and the kye are in the byre
And the hard day's work is over, wi the auld folk roon the fire
I gang steppin through the heather tae yon fairm ahint the hill
Jist tae see ma bonny lassie, by the auld meal mill

She's got een like bramble berries, she's got lips like mountain haws
And her cheeks are red like cherries, she's the bonniest flo'er that blaws
Foo a weary for the lousin, how I lang tae the quit the drill
And gang aff tae see ma lassie by the auld meal mill

Noo the auld folk often wonders, what does keep me oot sey late
And they nivver gang tae sleep until they hear me snek the gate
But the auld man he ??? fen he sees me tak the hill
That I'm aff tae see ma lassie by the auld meal mill.

By the auld meal, by the auld meal mill,
That I'm aff tae see ma lassie by the auld meal mill.

[TM] I've heard that one song a lot faster some times.

[GE] Faster? Aye, possibly, it's usually daen as a waltz ye see, so at's aboot. uh huh. There's tramps and ha'kers ye ken it?

[TM] Oh yes, give me that, lovely.

[GE] Jimmy, Jimmy McBeath used tae sing it. Heard o him, listened tae him. What a bloody creature he musta been. They say he wis jist an orra creature ye ken, aye drinkin, he would jist lived on the fee'in mairkets again noo, gaed in and drunk, sang for drink, the same wi ony occasion at he could get in. But he hid the, he must a been a character, aye he wis much thocht o ye ken. Uh huh. And eh, he kept a lot, but of course at's a he lived be!


back to top