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The Old Woman's Dance

by Tannahill Weavers

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The deil cam' fiddlin' through the toon And he's danced awa' wi' th' exciseman And ilka wife cries "auld mahoon" And I wish ye luck wi' your prize man Chorus: The deil's awa', the deil's awa', the deil's awa' wi' th' exciseman He's danced awa', he's danced awa', he's danced awa' wi' th' exciseman We'll mak' oor maut and we'll brew oor drink We'll sing and dance and rejoice man And many braw thanks tae the meikle black deil That danced awa' wi' th' exciseman Chorus There's threesome reels and there's fowersome reels And there's hornpipes and strathspeys man But aye the best dance ever cam' tae the land Was the deil's awa' wi' th' exciseman Chorus
Yon rosebuds in the morning dew How pure amang the leaves sae green But purer was the lover's vow They witnessed in their shade yestreen Chorus: Bonnie was yon rosie briar That bloomed sae far from haunt o' man Bonnie she and o' how dear It shaded frae the evening sun All in its rude and prickly bower That crimson rose, how sweet and fair But love is far the fairer flower Amid life's thorny path o' care Chorus
Cam' ye o'er frae France, cam' ye doon by Lunnon? Saw ye Geordie Whelps and his bonnie wumman? Were ye at the place ca'd the Kittle hoosie? Saw ye Geordie's grace ridin' on a goosie? Geordie he's the man there is little doubt o't He does a' he can, wha can dae withoot it? By there cam' a man linkin' like my lordie He maun drive a trade at the loom o' Geordie Though the claith were bad, blythely may we niffer Gin we get a wab, it mak's little differ We maun taint oor plaid, bonnet, belt and swordie Ha's the mailin's braid, but we hae a Geordie Jocky's gone tae France, and Montgomery's lady There they'll learn tae dance, "madam are you ready?" They'll be back belyve, belted, brick and lordly Brawly may they thrive, tae dance a jig wi' Geordie Hey for Sandy Don, hey for Cockalorum Hey for Bobbin' John and his Heilan' quorum Many's the sword and lance swings at Heilan' hurdie How they'll skip and dance, o'er the bum o' Geordie
The Laird o' Cockpen he was proud and he's great But his mind was ta'en up wi' the things o' the state He's wanted a new wife his braw home tae keep But favour wi' wooin' was fashous tae seek Doon by the dykeside there's a lady did dwell It's at his table heid he was sure she'd look well McLeish's ae daughter o' Clavers ha' lee A penniless lass wi' a lang pedigree His wig was well pouthered and as good as new His waistcoat was white and his suit it was blue He's put on a ring and a sword and cocked hat And who could refuse him, the laird, wi' a' that? He's ta'en the grey mare and he's rade cannily He's tapped at the yett o' the Clavers ha' lee Gae tell mistress Jean tae come speedily ben For she's wanted tae speak tae the Laird o' Cockpen And when she cam' by it's he bowed fu' low And what was his errand he soon let her know Amazed was the laird when the lady said naw And we' a leigh courtsey she turned awa' Dumfoundered he was but nae sign did he gie He's mounted his horse and he's rade cannily And aft times he thinks as he rides through the glen She was daft tae refuse me, the Laird o' Cockpen
LYRICS: Gloomy winter's noo awa', saft the westlin' breezes blaw Amang the birks o' Stanley Shaw, the mavis sings fu' cheery o Sweet the crawflower's early bell, decks Glennifer's dewy dell Bloomin' like your bonnie sel', my ain my darlin' dearie o Come my lassie let us stray o'er Glennifer's sunny brae And blythely spend the gowden day 'midst joys that never weary o Towerin' o'er the Newton woods, lavrocks fan the snaw white clouds And siller saughs wi' downy buds, adorn the banks sae briery o Round the sylvan fairy nooks, feathery brackens fringe the rocks And 'neath the brae the burnie jouks, and ilka thing is cheery o O trees my bud and birds may sing, flowers may bloom and verdure spring But joy tae me they cannae bring, unless wi' you my dearie o
McGregor o' the heilan' clan ye left five sons and no' a man Your motley crew dae a' they can tae terrorize the border Young Jamie we' his fourteen weans, ne'er a steek tae claed their banes Wi' idle lands and little brains cause nothing but disorder McGregor o you've left your gun tae Robin Oidh your second son Noo poor McLaren's days are done, Jamie's ta'en his cattle He's led them af at early dawn, your widow Ellen led them on She'd better see that they are gone, or be prepared for battle McGregor o your kith and kin have loupit ower the loch and linn A wife o' Robin they maun bin, pick on one wi' plenty Young Jamie's taen a widow tree, wi' mansion hoose for a' tae see Her mother just for company, and Jean was barely twenty McGregor a tae see them go intae the hills abune Glencoe The rascals noo are lyin' low, hope for Jeannie's favours But she would spurn the rogue's embrace, her tempered wrath was hard tae face They swore they'd put her in her place, and on her best behavior McGregor o if you could see the pleedin' in the lassie's e'e I'm sure ye'd set the widow free, it's cruel tae hear her sobbin' Against her will though she be led, and ae man force her tae the bed Arm up the kirk where they are wed. She'll ne'er submit tae Robin McGregor o it's drawing near, this time the law will mak' it clear The rascal's days are short I fear, hands are on the lever The gallows noo will have its chance, Jamie's fled awa' tae France He'll no' be here tae see Rab dance. In Hell they'll meet thegither


Recorded at Free Range Studios, London. Produced by Nigel Pegrum. Engineers: Ashley Brigdale and Ron Eve. Sleeve concept and design: Peter Wagstaff. Remixed and digitally remastered 1991 by Phil Smillie at Pier House Studios, Edinburgh, Scotland. Engineer: Peter Haigh.


released January 1, 1978

Roy Gullane: Guitar, Tenor Banjo, Vocals
Hudson Swan: Bouzouki, Glockenspiel, Harmonium, Foot Bass, Vocals
Phil Smillie: Whistles, Flutes, Bodhran, Vocals
Mike Ward: Fiddle, Guitar, Vocals
Alan Macleod: Bagpipes, Whistles, Flutes, Bodhran, Assorted Chanters


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