Digital Tradition Mirror

Rise Up Gudewife

Rise Up Gudewife

     Rise up, guidwife, an' shak' yer feathers,
     Dinna think that we are beggars--
     We're good children come to play,
     Rise up and gie's our hogmanay.
     Our feet's caul', our sheen's thin,
     Gie's a piece an' lat's rin.
     Yer drawer's fu' o' money,
     Yer bottle's fu' o' beer,--
     Rise up and gie's our hogmanay,
     And we'll wish you a happy New Year!

     Rise up, aul wife, an shack yer feathers;
     Dinna think it we are beggars;
     We're only bairnies come to play--
     Rise up an gee's wir hogminay.
     Wir feet's caul, wir sheen's thin,
     Gee's a piece an lat's rin.
     We'll sing for bread, we'll sing for cheese,
     We'll sing for a' yir orra bawbees,
     We'll sing for meal, we'll sing for maut,
     We'll sing for siller to buy wir saut.

     Get up, goodwife, and binna sweer,
     And deal your bread to them that's here,
     For the time will come when ye'll be dead,
     And then ye'll neither need ale nor bread.
     Get up, gudewife, an' shak' your feathers,
     Dinna think that we are beggars;
     For we're but bairnies come to play,
     Get up, an' gie's oor Hogmanay!

     Up sticks, down stools,
     Dinna think that we are fools,
     We are bairns come to play,
     Rise up, an' gie's oor Hogmanay!

     Hogmanay, troll lol lay,
     Gee's a piece o' pancake and let us win away.
     We neither cam' to your door to beg nor to borrow,
     But we cam' to your door to sing away sorrow.
     Get up, guid wife, and shake your feathers,
     Dinna think that we are beggars,
     But boys and girls come oot to play,
     An' to seek oor Hogmanay.

     (1) J.C. Thomson, Aberdeen, in SNQ IV.4 (Sep. 1890), 73.
     Lines 1-6 (with minor variations) in Burnett BSV (1932),
17; Montgomerie SNR, 106 (no. 129). First 4 lines are very
common: MacLennan SNR (1909), 55 [Get up, guid wife]; Watt
Scottish Life and Poetry (1912), 380 [Get up, auld wife]; NAE
(1932), 29, etc.  Cf. Opie Lore 290, East Coast (Kirkcaldy,
Aberdeen, Golspie); referring to the parody in Gude & Godlie
Ballads; cf. FSJ III (1938), 173.  They add "a pleasing
variation" from a Forfar boy adaptable to Guy Fawkes Night
and similar soliciting occasions:

     Rise up, auld wives, and shake yer feathers,
     We've no come here as tinks or beggars,
     We're only wee bairnies oot tae play,
     So see oor pennies and let's away.

     (2) Gregor (1881), 162.
     (3) Chambers PRS (1847), 296; (1870), 166; Watt Scottish
     Life and Poetry (1912), 380 [auld wife]; Montgomerie SNR
     (1946), 115 (144) [dinna be/ deal oot ... as lang's
     ye're here./ The day/ An ye'll need neither meal nor
     breid]; Rodger Lang Strang (1948), 48 [Rise up ... dinna
     be/ And dail yer gear as lang's ye're here./ The day'll
     come/ Ye'll naither than need meal nor breid]. MacLennan
     SNR (1909), 56 [dinna sweer] (misprint?) changes the
     meaning slightly.
     (4) MacLennan, ibid.
     (5) Rymour Club Misc. III (1928), 106, from
     Cf. "Guid New Year".

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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