Drumdelgie
Anonymous


There's a farmer up in Cairnie,
Wha's kent baith faur and wide
Tae be the great Drumdelgie
Upon sweet Deveron side.
The fairmer o' yon muckle toon
He is baith hard and sair.
And the cauldset day that ever blaws,
His servants get their share.

At five o clock we quickly rise
An' hurry doon the stair-
It's there to corn our horses,
Likewise to straik their hair.
Syne, after working half- an- hour,
Each to the kitchen goes,
It's there to get our breakfast,
Which generally is brose.

We've scarely got our brose weel supt,
And gi'en our pints a tie,
When the foreman cries, "Hallo my lads!
The hour is drawing nigh."
At sax o'clock the mull's put on,
To gie us a' strait wark;
It tak's four o' us to mak' to her,
Till ye could wring our sark.

And when the water is put aff,
We hurry doon the stair,
To get some quarters through the fan
Till daylicht does appear.
When daylicht does begin to peep,
And the sky begins to clear,
The foreman cries out, "My lads!
Ye'll stay nae langer here!"

"There's sax o' you'll gae to the ploo,
And twa will drive the neeps,
And the owsen they'll be after you
Wi' strae raips roun' their queets."
But when that we were gyaun furth,
And turnin' out to yoke,
The snaw dank on sae thick and fast
That we were like to choke.

The frost had been sae very hard,
The ploo she wadna go;
And sae our cairting days commenced
Amang the frost and snaw.
But we will sing our horses' praise,
Though they be young and sma',
They far outshine the Broadiand's anes
That gang sae full and braw.

Sae fare ye weel, Drumdelgie,
For maun gang awa;
Sae fare ye weel, Drumdelgie,
Your weety weather an' a'
Sae fareweel, Drumdelgie,
I bid ye a' adieu;
I leave ye as I got ye-
A maist unceevil crew.

Midi sequenced by Alan Sim

There are many versions of this well-known ballad, with different numbers of verses and a different order of events. The version quoted seems to be as near to a common standard as possible. As these songs acquired and lost verses as they moved around the country, the lack of a definitive version is hardly surprising. Most of the bothy ballads are in the old Doric tongue which makes even a term of endearment sound like a death sentence.

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