Auld Man tae the Oak Tree 1. Says the auld man Tae the oak tree, "Young and lusty was I When I kenned thee. "I was young an lusty, I was fair an clear, Young an lusty was I Mony a lang year. "But sair failed am I, Sair failed noo, Sair failed am I Sin I kenned you." 2. Young and souple was I, when I lap the dyke; Now I'm auld and frail, I douna step a syke. Buy broom &c. Young and souple was I, when at Lautherslack, Now I'm auld and frail, and lie at Nansie's back. Buy broom &c. Had she gien me butter, when she gae me bread, I wad lookit baulder, wi' my beld head. Buy broom &c. ________________________________________________________ (1) Montgomerie SNR (1946), 126 (no. 162), pretty much as in Ritson, Gammer Gurton's Garland ("Says t' auld man ti't oak tree," etc.). Bell RNB (1812) 257, has a slightly fuller version, thus: I was young and lusty, I was fair and clear; I was young and lusty, Many a long year. Sair fail'd hinny, Sair fail'd now; Sair fail'd hinny, Sin' I kend thou. When I was young and lusty, I could loup a dyke; But now at five and sixty, Cannot do the like. Sair fail'd hinny, Sair fail'd now, Sair fail'd hinny, Sin' I kend thou. Then said the awd man To the oak tree; Sair fail'd is 'e, Sin' I kend thee. Sair fail'd hinny, Sair fail'd now; Sair fail'd hinny, Sin' I kend thou. Sir Cuthbert Sharpe (Bishoprick Garland, 1834, slightly edited--e.g. 3.3 Sair fail'd is I) says "This song is `far north;' it is admitted in Bell's Northern Bards, and may very possibly belong to the bishoprick, where it is well known." Slightly fuller in Bruce and Stokoe (1882), 92, with music; whence Whittaker (1940), 63. (2) Kinsley, Burns 913-14, no. 626 B; tune, "Buy Broom Besoms" (q.v.). A traditional version collected by Burns. St. 1 comparable to Bruce & Stokoe's 2 (not counting chorus): When aw was young and lusty, Aw cud lowp a dyke; But now aw'm awd an' stiff, Aw can hardly step a syke. MS
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