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Boyd Clark

It happened at last Whitsunday,
I tired o' my place,
And I gaed up to Inch to fee,
My fortune for to chase.

And sing airrie erritie adie,
And sing airrie erritie an.

I met in wi' Adam Mitchell,
To fee we did presume,
He's a fairmer in Kennethmont,
And he lives at Sleepytoon.

If you and I agree, he says,
You'll have the fairest play,
For I never bid my servants work
Above ten hours a day.

If a' be true ye tell to me,
I think the place will suit;
Guid-faith, I think I'll gang wi' you,
But ye're an ugly brute.

'Twas on a Monday mornin'
I gaed hame to Sleepytoon,
And he ranked us in guid order
To lay his turnips doon.

I was sent to drive the dung,
Likewise my neighbour Knowles;
But soon the rain it did come on,
And the order cam' to lowse.

The rain it still increased;
The son was at the mill
For meal, old Adam Mitchell said,
Our bellies for to fill.

The rain it soon went over,
And the day began to break;
And our next orders were to scrape
Our dinners frae the secks.

We'll ne'er refuse your orders,
Whate'er ye bid us do;
But to eat the scrapin's o' your secks
Is a thing we'll never do.

Do you refuse what I command,
Ye scoundrels that ye are?
Ye bargained for ten hours a day,
Refuse then if ye daur.

But if the one thing winna dee,
The ither I can try;
I go and get the kitchen-maid
To mix it through the dry.

The order was to bed at nine,
And never leave the toon,
And for every time we left it
We'd be fined half-a-croon.

Knowles he was fined mony's a time,
But never lost the heart;
And I mysel' was fined a pound
For turnin' up a cart.

We never heeded Adam,
But aye we took the pass,
Sometimes to buy tobacco,
Sometimes to see the lass.

But now the term's come at last,
The trifle's safely won,
And we'll awa to Rhynie Muir,
And there we'll hae some fun.

When we are owre in Alford,
We'll gar the gless gae roun',
And we'll tell them o' the usage
That we got at Sleepytoon.

We'll maybe see old Adam yet
Jist at his dish o' brose;
And we'll gie him oor pocket-napkin
To dicht his snuffy nose.

And sing airrie erritie adie,
And sing airrie erritie an.

Footnote : Jock Duncan of Pitlochry, 76 year young, won the coveted Bothy Ballad Singer's Champion of Champions, at Elgin Town Hall in April 2002, singing this 150 year old song. Aberdeenshire born and bred, Jock Duncan had previously won the title in 1994. The competition organised by the Elgin Rotary Club since 1983 was compered by Doric writer and broadcaster Robbie Shepherd.


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