WHEN lyart leaves bestrow the yird,
Or wavering like the Bauckie-bird,
Bedim cauld Boreas' blast;
When hailstanes drive wi' bitter skyte,
And infant Frosts begin to bite,
In hoary cranreuch drest;
Ae night at e'en a merry core
O' randie, gangrel bodies,
In Poosie-Nansie's held the splore,
To drink their orra duddies:
Wi' quaffing, and laughing,
They ranted an' they sang;
Wi' jumping, an' thumping,
The vera girdle rang.

First, niest the fire, in auld, red rags,
Ane sat; weel brac'd wi' mealy bags,
And knapsack a' in order;
His doxy lay within his arm;
Wi' USQUEBAE an' blankets warm,
She blinket on her Sodger:
An' ay he gies the tozie drab
The tither skelpan kiss,
While she held up her greedy gab,
Just like an aumous dish:
Ilk smack still, did crack still,
Just like a cadger's whip;
Then staggering, an' swaggering,
He roar'd this ditty up--------

I AM a Son of Mars who have been in many wars,
And show my cuts and scars wherever I come;
This here was for a wench, and that other in a trench,
When welcoming the French at the sound of the drum.
Lal de daudle, etc.

My Prenticeship I past where my LEADER breath'd his last,
When the bloody die was cast on the heights of ABRAM;
And I served out my TRADE when the gallant game was play'd,
And the MORO low was laid at the sound of the drum.

I lastly was with Curtis among the floating batt'ries,
And there I left for witness, an arm and a limb;
Yet let my Country need me, with ELLIOT to head me
I'd clatter on my stumps at the sound of the drum.

And now, tho' I must beg, with a wooden arm and leg,
And many a tatter'd rag hanging over my bum,
I'm as happy with my wallet, my bottle and my Callet
As when I us'd in scarlet to follow a drum.

What tho', with hoary locks, I must stand the winter shocks,
Beneath the woods and rocks oftentimes for a home,
When the tother bag I sell and the tother bottle tell,
I could meet a troop of HELL at the sound of a drum.


He ended; and the kebars sheuk,
Aboon the chorus roar;
While frighted rattons backward leuk,
An' seek the benmost bore:
A fairy FIDDLER frae the neuk,
He skirl'd out ENCORE.
But up arose the martial CHUCK,
An' laid the loud uproar------

I ONCE was a Maid, tho' I cannot tell when,
And still my delight is in proper young men:
Some one of a troop of DRAGOONS was my dadie,
No wonder I'm fond of a SODGER LADDIE.
Sing, lal de dal, etc.

The first of my LOVES was swaggering blade,
To rattle the thundering drum was his trade;
His leg was so tight, and his cheek was so ruddy,
Transported I was with my SODGER LADDIE.

But the godly old Chaplain left him in the lurch,
The sword I forsook for the sake of the church;
He ventur’d the SOUL, and I risked the BODY,
'Twas then I prov'd false to my SODGER LADDIE.

Full soon I grew sick of my sanctified Sot;
The Regiment AT LARGE for a HUSBAND I got;
From the gilded SPONTOON to the FIFE I was ready;
I asked no more but a SODGER LADDIE.

But the PEACE it reduc'd me to beg in despair,
Till I met my old boy in a CUNNINGHAM fair;
His RAGS REGIMENTAL they flutter'd so gaudy,
My heart it rejoic'd at a SODGER LADDIE.

And now I have lived I know not how long,
And still I can join in a cup and a song;
But while with both hands I can hold the glass steady,
Here 's to thee, MY HERO MY SODGER LADDIE!

Poor Merry-andrew, in a neuk,
Sat guzzling wi' a Tinkler-hizzie;
They mind't na wha the chorus teuk,
Between themselves they were sae busy.
At length wi' drink an' courting dizzy,
He stoiter'd up an' made a face;
Then turn'd, an' laid a smack on Grizzie,
Syne tun'd his pipes wi' grave grimace.

Sir Wisdom 's a fool when he 's fou;
Sir Knave is a fool in a Session,
He 's there but a prentice, I trow,
But I am a fool by profession.

My Grannie she bought me a beuk,
An' I held awa to the school;
I fear I my talent misteuk,
But what will ye hae of a fool.

For drink I wad venture my neck;
A hizzie 's the half of my Craft:
But what could ye other expect
Of ane that 's avowedly daft.

I, ance, was ty’d up like a stirk,
For civilly swearing and quaffing;
I, ance, was abus'd i' the kirk,
For towsing a lass i' my daffin.

Poor Andrew that tumbles for sport,
Let nae body name wi' a jeer;
There 's even, I'm tauld, i' the Court
A Tumbler ca'd the Premier.

Observ'd ye yon reverend lad
Mak faces to tickle the Mob;
He rails at our mountebank squad,
Its rivalship just i' the job.

And now my conclusion I'll tell,
For faith I'm confoundedly dry:
The cheil that 's a fool for himsel,
Guid Lord, he 's far dafter than I.


Then neist outspak a raucle Carlin,
Wha ken’t fu' weel to cleek the Sterlin;
For mony a pursie she had hooked,
An' had in monie a well been douked:
But weary fa' the waefu' woodie!
Wi' sighs an' sobs she thus began
To wail her braw JOHN HIGHLANDMAN

A HIGHLAND lad my Love was born,
The lalland laws he held in scorn;
But he still was faithfu' to his clan,
My gallant, braw JOHN HIGHLANDMAN.

Sing hey my braw John Highlandman!
Sing ho my braw John Highlandman!
There 's not a lad in a' the lan'
Was match for my John Highlandman.

With his Philibeg, an' tartan Plaid,
An' guid Claymore down by his side,
The ladies hearts he did trepan,
My gallant, braw John Highlandman.
Sing hey &c.

We ranged a' from the Tweed to Spey,
An' liv'd like lords an' ladies gay:
For a lalland face he feared none,
My gallant, braw John Highlandman.
Sing hey &c.

They banish'd him beyond the sea,
But ere the bud was on the tree,
Adown my cheeks the pearls ran,
Embracing my John Highlandman.
Sing hey &c.

But Och! they catch'd him at the last,
And bound him in a dungeon fast,
My curse upon them every one,
They 've hang'd my braw John Highlandman.
Sing hey &c.

And now a Widow I must mourn
The Pleasures that will ne'er return;
No comfort but a hearty can,
When I think on John Highlandman.
Sing hey &c.


A pigmy Scraper wi’ his Fiddle,
Wha us'd to trystes an' fairs to driddle,
Her strappan limb an' gausy middle,
(He reach'd nae higher)
Had hol'd his HEARTIE like a riddle,
An' blawn 't on fire.

Wi' hand on hainch, and upward e'e,
He croon'd his gamut, ONE, TWO, THREE,
Then in an ARIOSO key,
The wee Apollo
Set off wi' ALLEGRETTO glee

LET me ryke up to dight that tear,
An' go wi' me an' be my DEAR;
An' then your every CARE an' FEAR
May whistle owre the lave o't.

I am a Fiddler to my trade,
An' a' the tunes that e'er I play'd.
The sweetest still to WIFE or MAID,
Was whistle owre the lave o't.

At KIRNS an' WEDDINS we 'se be there,
An' O sae nicely 's we will fare!
We'll bowse about till Dadie CARE
Sing whistle owre the lave o't.
I am &c.

Sae merrily ‘s the banes we'll pyke,
An' sun oursells about the dyke;
An' at our leisure when ye like,
We'll whistle owre the lave o't.
I am &c.

But bless me wi' your heav'n o' charms,
An' while I kittle hair on thairms,
HUNGER, CAULD, an' a' sic harms
May whistle owre the lave o't.
I am &c.

Her charms had struck a sturdy CAIRD
As weel as poor GUTSCRAPER;
He taks the Fiddler by the beard,
An' draws a roosty rapier----
He swoor by a' was swearing worth
To speet him like a Pliver,
Unless he would from that time forth
Relinquish her for ever:

Wi' ghastly e'e poor TWEEDLEDEE
Upon his hunkers bended,
An' pray'd for grace wi' ruefu' face,
An' sae the quarrel ended;
But tho' his little heart did grieve,
When round the TINKLER prest her,
He feign'd to snirtle in his sleeve
When thus the CAIRD address'd her--

My bonie lass I work in brass,
A TINKLER is my station;
I've travell'd round all Christian ground
In this my occupation;
I've taen the gold an' been enroll’d
In many a noble squadron;
But vain they search'd when off I march'd
To go an' clout the CAUDRON.
I’ve ta’en the gold &c.

Despise that SHRIMP, that wither'd IMP,
With a' his noise an' cap'rin;
An' take a share, with those that bear
The budget and the apron!
And by that STOWP, my faith an' houpe,
And by that dear KILBAIGIE,
If e'er ye want, or meet wi' scant,
May I ne'er weet my CRAIGIE!
And by that Stowp, &c.


The Caird prevail'd------th' unblushing fair
In his embraces sunk;
Partly wi' LOVE o'ercome sae sair,
An' partly she was drunk:
SIR VIOLINO with an air,
That show'd a man o' spunk,
Wish'd UNISON between the PAIR,
An' made the bottle clunk
To their health that night.

But hurchin Cupid shot a shaft,
That play'd a DAME a shavie
The Fiddler RAK'D her, FORE AND AFT
Behint the Chicken cavie:
Her lord, a wight of HOMER's craft,
Tho' limpan' wi' the Spavie,
He hirpl'd up an’ lap like daft,
An' shor'd them DAINTY DAVIE
O' boot that night.

He was a care-defying blade,
As ever BACCHUS listed!
Tho' Fortune sair upon him laid,
His heart she ever miss'd it.
He had no WISH but------to be glad,
Nor WANT but----when he thirsted;
He hated nought but-----to be sad,
An' thus the Muse suggested
His sang that night.

I AM a BARD of no regard,
Wi' gentle folks an' a' that;
But HOMER LIKE the glowran byke,
Frae town to town I draw that.
For a' that an' a' that,
An' twice as muckle 's a' that,
I've lost but ANE, I've TWA behin',
I've WIFE ENEUGH for a' that.

I never drank the Muses' STANK,
Castalia's burn an' a' that,
But there it streams an' richly reams,
My HELICON I ca' that.
For a’ that &c.

Great love I bear to a' the FAIR,
Their humble slave an' a' that;
But lordly WILL, I hold it still
A mortal sin to thraw that.
For a’ that &c.

In raptures sweet this hour we meet,
Wi' mutual love an' a' that;
But for how long the FLIE MAY STANG,
Let INCLINATION law that.
For a’ that &c.

Their tricks an' craft hae put me daft,
They 've ta’en me in, an' a' that,
But clear the decks an' here 's the SEX!
I like the jads for a' that.
For a' that an' a' that
An' twice as muckle 's a' that,
My DEAREST BLUID to do them guid,
They ‘re welcome till ‘t for a’ that.


So sung the BARD--------and Nansie's waws
Shook with a thunder of applause
Re-echo'd from each mouth!
They toom'd their pocks, they pawn'd their duds,
They scarcely left to coor their fuds
To quench their lowan drouth:
Then owre again the jovial thrang
The Poet did request
To lowse his PACK an' wale a sang,
A BALLAD o' the best.
He, rising, rejoicing,
Between his TWA DEBORAHS,
Looks round him an' found them
Impatient for the Chorus.

SEE the smoking bowl before us,
Mark our jovial, ragged ring!
Round and round take up the Chorus,
And in raptures let us sing------
A fig for those by law protected!
LIBERTY's a glorious feast!
Courts for Cowards were erected,
Churches built to please the PRIEST.

What is TITLE, what is TREASURE,
What is REPUTATION's care?
If we lead a life of pleasure,
'Tis no matter HOW or WHERE.
A fig, &c.

With the ready trick and fable
Round we wander all the day;
And at night, in barn or stable,
Hug our doxies on the hay.
A fig, &c.

Does the train-attended CARRIAGE
Thro' the country lighter rove?
Does the sober bed of MARRIAGE
Witness brighter scenes of love?
A fig, &c.

Life is all a VARIORUM,
We regard not how it goes;
Let them cant about DECORUM,
Who have character to lose.
A fig, &c.

Here 's to all the wandering train!
Here 's our ragged BRATS and CALLETS!
One and all, cry out, AMEN!
A fig for those by LAW protected!
LIBERTY's a glorious feast!
COURTS for Cowards were erected,
CHURCHES built to please the Priest.