Digital Tradition Mirror

Buy Broom Besoms (2)

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Buy Broom Besoms (2)

     Buy broom besoms,
     Better never grew;
     Bonny heather reenges,
     Wha'll hae them noo?

     Besoms for a penny,
     Reenges for a plack;
     And ye winna hae them,
     Tie them on ma back!

     Buy broom beesoms,
     Wha'll buy them nou,
     Fine heather reenges,
     Better nivver grew;

     Reenges for a penny,
     Besoms for a plack,
     And if ye dinna want tae buy them
     Help them on ma back.

     (1) Montgomerie SC (1948), 146 (no. 262), "Besom-Seller's
     Cry", from Fife; (2) Cheape & Sprott, Angus Country Life
     (1980), 46, an old "tinker lullaby".
Reenges = "scrubbers", often made of heather. Var. of 1-4,
Rymour Club Misc. I (1906-11), 171: "Fine broom besoms!
Wha'll buy them noo?/ Fine heather ranges! Better never
grew."  Ibid. II (1912-19), 110, "Tinker's or Gypsy's Rhyme",
= st.2: "There's besoms for a penny, and reenges for a
plack;/ If ye beena gaun to buy them, Come, lift them on my
Full version in Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882), 118 [of which
our text approx. = chorus and st. 2], with music, whence Dick
Songs 255 (No. 273), to Burns' "Wha will buy my troggin?"
(written 1796).  Two other songs to the tune survive in
Burns' holograph, probably traditional pieces collected by
him: --Kinsley, 913-14, no. 626 A-B.  The texts are from
Davidson Cook's transcripts from the Law MSS (Burns
Chronicle, 1926, 60-61).  [The second of these is a version
of "Says the auld man Tae the oak tree", q.v.]


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