Digital Tradition Mirror


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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available


There lived a carl in Kellyburnbraes,
        Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
And he had a wife was the plague o' his days,
        And the thyme it is wither'd and rue is in prime;
        And he had a wife was the plague o' his days,
        And the thyme it is wither'd and rue is in prime.

Ae day as the carl gaed up the lang-glen,
He met wi' the d-v-l, says, how do ye fen!

I've got a bad wife, Sir, that's a' my complaint,
For, saving your presence, to her ye're a saint.

It 's neither your stot nor your staig I shall crave,
But gie me your wife, man, for her I must have.

O, welcome most kindly! the blythe carl said;
But if ye can match her---ye're waur than ye're ca'd.

The d-v-1 has got the auld wife on his back,
And like a poor pedlar he 's carried his pack.

He's carried her hame to his ain hallan-door
Syne bade her gae in for a b---ch and a wh---.

Then straight he makes fifty, the pick o' his band,
Turn out on her guard in the clap of a hand.

The carlin gaed thro' them like onie wud bear,
Whae'er she gat hands on, cam near her nae mair.

A reekit, wee devil looks over the wa':
O help, Master, help! or she'll ruin us a'.

The d-v-l he swore by the edge o' his knife,
He pitied the man that was ty'd to a wife.

The d-v-I he swore by the kirk and the bell,
He was not in wedlock, thank Heaven, but in hell

Then Satan has travell'd again wi' his pack.
And to her auld husband he's carried her back.

I hae been the d-v-l the feck o' my life
But ne'er was in h-ll till I met wi' a wife.

Carl: old fellow
Ae: one
Stot: young bullock
Staig: Colt
Feb: shift, do
hallan-: Partition between cottage door and fireplace
carlin: old wife
wud: mad
reekit: smoky

Child #278

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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