I'll Tell Ma I'll tell ma when I go home, The boys won't let my curls alone, Pull my hair and break my comb, And that's the way that they go on. My mither says that I must go With my daddy's dinner, oh. Chappit tatties, beef and steak, Twa reed herrin' and a bawbee bake. I cam' til a river and I couldna get across, So I paid five bob for an auld blind horse. I jamp on his back; its banes gae a crack. And I played on my fiddle til the boatie cam' back. ________________________________________________________ Rodger Lang Strang (1948), 16. Lines 5-8 in Rymour Club Misc. I (1906), 221, from Kirriemuir, [father's], whence probably SC (1948), 129 (no. 219); (line 2 "Tae fetch ma deddy's denner, O."). [Jean Redpath, Frae My Ain Countrie (gramophone disc, 1973), quoting also an "older version", = 1-2, var. girls, has 8 lines only, approx. 5-12 of above; main var.: father's/that I couldnae/ ten shillin's for an auld done horse./ Jumped on its . . . gied/ So, I . . . the fiddle.] Ritchie Golden City (1965), 126, has 5-12; main differs: My mother cried me up to go/ faither's/ Champit/ Three red herrins and a hapnie cake.// I paid ten shillings/ I jumped on its back and its bones went crack/ We all played the fiddle. . . boat/ [+ 2 other lines:] The boat came back, we all jumped in/ The boat capsized and we all fell in. Among variants (p. 127) is "I on his back and away with a crack/ And told my mither I'd never come back!" Ritchie also has (127) a version of lines 1-4: My mother said I never should Play with the gipsies in the wood They tugged my hair and broke my comb I'll tell my mother when I get home. R. notes that in the Trinity district the last 2 lines used to be "With an alpaca bodice and a white lace shawl/ A pea-green bonnet and a pink parasol." MS oct97
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