The Merry Muses of Caledonia/The Patriarch

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Tune—"The Auld Cripple Dow:"

This is by Burns. The original MS. was in the possession of a gentleman in Forfar. It is headed—

"A Wicked Song.
"Author's name unknown.
"Tune—The waukin' o' a winter's night.
"The Publisher to the Reader,
"Courteous Reader,

"The following is certainly the production of one of those licentious, ungodly (too-much-abounding in this our day) wretches who take it as a compliment to be called wicked, provided you allow them to be witty. Pity it is that while so many tar barrels in the country are empty, and so many gibbets untenanted, some example is not made of these profligates." Burns pursues this satirical-humorous vein in his mock manifesto as "Poet Laureat and Bard-in-Chief of Kyle, Cuningham, and Carrick," addressed (November 20th, 1786) to William Chalmers and John M'Adam, "students and practitioners in the ancient and mysterious Science of confounding Right and Wrong." A reprint of the whole manifesto will be found in Scott Douglas's Edinburgh edition (Vol. IV., p. 163). The following extract indicates the drift of it:—

"Be it known, that . . . we have discovered a certain nefarious, abominable, and wicked song or ballad, a copy whereof we have enclosed; Our will therefore is . . . that the said copy shall be consumed by fire at the Cross of Ayr . . . in the presence of all beholders, in abhorrence of, and terrorem to, all such compositions and composers. Given at Mauchline this twentieth day of November, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six.—God Save the Bard."

As honest Jacob on a night,
With his beloved beauty,
Was duly laid on wedlock's bed,
And noddin' at his duty.

Chorus—Fal de dal, &c.

"How lang," she cried, "ye fumbling wretch,
Will ye be f——ing at it?
My auldest wean might die o' age,
Before that ye could get it.

Fal de dal, &c.

"Ye pegh and grane, and goazle there,
And make an unco splutter,
And I maun lie and thole you, though
I'm fient a hair the better."

Fal de dal, &c.

Then he in wrath put up his graith,
"The devil's in the hizzie,
I mow you as I mow the lave,
And night and day I'm busy.

Fal de dal, &c.

"I've bairned the servant gipsies baith,
Forbye your titty Leah,
Ye barren jade, ye put me mad,
What mair can I do wi' you?

Fal de dal, &c.

"There's ne'er a mow I've gien the lave,
But ye hae got a dizzen.
But d——d a ane ye'se get again,
Although your c——t should gizzen."

Fal de dal, &c.

Then Rachel, calm as ony lamb,
She claps him on the waulies;
Quo' she, "Ne'er fash a woman's' clash,
In troth ye mow me brawlies.

Fal de dal, &c.

"My dear 'tis true, for mony a mow,
I am your gratefu' debtor,
But ance again, I dinna ken,
Will aiblins happen better."

Fal de dal, &c.

The honest man wi' little wark,
He soon forgot his ire;
The patriarch he coost the sark,
And up and till't like fire.

Fal de dal, &c.