Four and Twenty Hielandmen

Four and twenty Hielandmen were riding on  a snail,
When up cam' the hindmost and trampit on her tail.
0, the sna,' shot out her wee horns, just like ahum-mel coo.
"Hech" quo the fore-most "We'll a' be stick-et noo!"

Four and twenty tailor lads, were fighting wi' a slug,
"Hallo!  Sirs," said one o' them, "Just haud him by the lug."
But the beastie frae his shell cam oot, and shook his fearsome heid,
Rin, rin, my tailors bold, or we will a' be deid!

I gaed by the mill door, when oot cam' Miller Reid,
His cap on his feet and his breeks upon his held.
Now I've sung ye a' a sang, and I've tell't ye a' a tale.
And its a' big lees, frae the heid to the tail!

Midi sequenced by Alan Sim

The tune of this song is very similar to that of a less polite though somewhat better known ballad of a rather bawdy nature called Four And Twenty Virgins. Mention of it is found in the Preface to Burns' "Merry Muses of Caledonia", edited by James Barke and Sydney Goodsir Smith.