The Old Woman's Dance

by Tannahill Weavers

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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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Track Name: The Deil's Awa' Wi' th' Exciseman
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


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


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

Track Name: Bonnie Was Yon Rosie Briar
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


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

Track Name: Cam Ye O'er Frae France
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
Track Name: The Laird O' Cockpen
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
Track Name: Gloomy Winter's Noo Awa'

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
Track Name: The McGregors
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