A New Setting of an Auld
Sang, Robin Tamson
From the Aberdeen Journal
In "Aberdeen Journal’ Notes and Queries” for
1912, Vol. V.—a copy of which has just reached me. I find in p. 190 a
reference to that grand old song, “Robin Tamson’s Smiddy,” and having in
my scrap book a revised version of the same (whence obtained I cannot
recall), I send from “down under” a copy for insertion with the
compliments of a “Banffshire loon” and Aberdeen University alumnus now
in South Australia who dearlv loves to read or hear the old kindly
language of fifty years ago.
My name is Andrew Witherspin,
My age is twa-an’-thirty,
My character’s an ordiinar’ yin,
Plain aevendown an’ herty.
At wark or play alike I’m blithe,
I ne’er was feared for labour,
An’ spade, or flail, or ploo, or scythe
Could handle wi’ my neighbour.
In life there’s mony an up an’ down
Frae daylicht dawn till gleamin’,
An’ nane in kintra or in toun
Can ever tell what’s comin’.
Last week my mither cries “Come here,
Since ye’re at hame an’ ready,
Ye ken ye’ve to tak’ yont the mear
To Robin Tamson’s smiddy;
An’ noo ye’re gettin’ on in life,
Nae hanger doot nor swither,
But seek his dochter for a wife—
Ye’ll no aye hae your mither!”
The lass she was a weel faured quean-
Few bonnier, an’ nane better,
But wi’ a lad she ne’er had been—
Her father widna lat her.
This wisna gaun to haud me back,
So while the mear was shooin’
I socht the kitchen for a crack—
To try my Ihan’ at wooin’.
”My lase,” cays I, “your faither’s views
Are nonsense a’thegeither,
For sheep, an’ kye, an’ craws an’ doos
A’ pair wi’ ane anither.
In lowly cot or lordly dome
Auld Nature this rehearses,
An’ even tho Psalms o’ Daavit come
To us in double verses!”
Tak’ my advice an’ come wi’ me—
I’ll face a’ his contention,
But sure am I he’ll sune agree
When yince it’s past prevention.
My hoose an’ hame an’ frugal store
For you I’ll mak’ a nest o’t,
And o’ the guid comes to my door
Ye’se get the first an’ best o’t.
She gied consent her Dad to daur,
An’ my guid mear weel fettled
Took us baith aff to Gretna, whaur
The wee bit job was settled.
Auld Robin was at oor back yett
When we cam’ hame thegither,
Says I, “Guidman! I’ve ta’en your pet—
Ye'll maybe get my mither!”
“For doonricht cheek, my lad,” says he,
"I think ye’re near perfection;
But if the guidwife should agree
I see nae great objection.”
Twa happier hooses noo to fin’
You couldna for a ransom,
His dochter—Mis Witherspin,
My milher—Mrs Tamson.