Digital Tradition Mirror

Tomyondr the Twa Corbies (7)

Tomyondr the Twa Corbies (7)
(Peter MacNab)

An Orkney man was on the phone
When he spied twa corbies ootside his home
The tain untae the tuther did say
Lets cut this auld man off the day

Oh in ahint yon auld fell dyke
Someone has dumped a smashed up bike
There's a broken chain and lots o' spokes
And we'll sort them oot in just twa croaks

That line of poles coming frae his hoose
Thats where he gets his electric juice
We'll tak a spoke - drop it on the wire
Nae fuse tae light - ye just retire

And see that other line of poles
That's waur he gets his telephone calls
We'll tak the chain - drop it o'er there
And he'll get nae calls for a month or mair

And when that's done we will be blessed
Wi' a place waur we can build oor nest
Nae electric shocks shootin' up oor legs
Nae chance o' laying hard boiled eggs

This island - it has nae trees
So we nest up poles high in the breeze
I could move doon south - maybe tae Dundee
But I'd miss ma money frae BT.

Copyright Peter MacNab
This version was written by Peter MacNab after hearing a report that due to the
lack of trees in the islands of Orkney, British Telecom (BT) were getting masses
of call outs to repair telephone lines damaged by birds trying to build nests on
the top of telegraph poles. Electricity lines were being damaged in the same


LADY MAISRY lives intill a bower,
She never wore but what she would;
Her gowns were o the silks sae fine,
Her coats stood up wi bolts o gold.

Mony a knight there courted her,
And gentlemen o high degree,
But it was Thomas o Yonderdale
That gaind the love o this ladie.

Now he has hunted her till her bower,
Baith late at night and the mid day,
But when he stole her virgin rose
Nae mair this maid he would come nigh.

But it fell ance upon a time
Thomas her bower he walked by;
There he saw her Lady Maisry,
Nursing her young son on her knee.

`O seal on you, my bonny babe,
And lang may ye my comfort be!
Your father passes by our bower,
And now minds neither you nor me.'

Now when Thomas heard her speak,
The saut tear trinkled frae his ee;
To Lady Maisry's bower he went,
Says, Now I'm come to comfort thee.

`Is this the promise ye did make
Last when I was in your companie?
You said before nine months were gane
Your wedded wife that I should be.'

`If Saturday be a bonny day,
Then, my love, I maun sail the sea;
But if I live for to return,
O then, my love, I'll marry thee.'

`I wish Saturday a stormy day,
High and stormy be the sea,
Ships may not sail, nor boats row,
But gar true Thomas stay with me.'

Saturday was a bonny day,
Fair and leesome blew the wind;
Ships did sail, and boats did row,
Which had true Thomas to unco ground.

He hadna been on unco ground
A month, a month but barely three,
Till he has courted anither maid,
And quite forgotten Lady Maisry.

Ae night as he lay on his bed,
In a dreary dream dreamed he
That Maisry stood by his bedside,
Upbraiding him for 's inconstancie.

He's calld upon his little boy,
Says, Bring me candle, that I see;
And ye maun gang this night, my boy,
Wi a letter to a gay ladie.

`It is my duty you to serve,
And bring you coal and candle-light,
And I would rin your errand, master,
If 'twere to Lady Maisry bright.

`Tho my legs were sair I coudna gang,
Tho the night were dark I coudna see,
Tho I should creep on hands and feet,
I woud gae to Lady Maisry.'

`Win up, win up, my bonny boy,
And at my bidding for to be;
For ye maun quickly my errand rin,
For it is to Lady Maisry.

`Ye'll bid her dress in the gowns o silk,
Likewise in the coats o cramasie;
Ye'll bid her coma alang wi you,
True Thomas's wedding for to see.

`Ye'll bid her shoe her steed before,
And a' gowd graithing him behind;
On ilka tip o her horse mane,
Twa bonny bells to loudly ring.

`And on the tor o her saddle
A courtly bird to sweetly sing;
Her bridle-reins o silver fine,
And stirrups by her side to hing.'

She dressd her in the finest silk,
Her coats were o the cramasie,
And she's awa to unco land,
True Thomas's wedding for to see.

At ilka tippet o her horse mane,
Twa bonny bells did loudly ring,
And on the tor o her saddle
A courtly bird did sweetly sing.

The bells they rang, the bird he sang,
As they rode in yon pleasant plain;
Then soon she met true Thomas's bride,
Wi a' her maidens and young men.

The bride she garned round about,
`I wonder,' said she, 'who this may be?
It surely is our Scottish queen,
Come here our wedding for to see.'

Out it speaks true Thomas's boy,
`She maunna lift her head sae hie;
But it's true Thomas's first love,
Come here your wedding for to see.'

Then out bespake true Thomas's bride,
I wyte the tear did blind her ee;
If this be Thomas's first true-love,
I'm sair afraid he'll neer hae me.

Then in it came her Lady Maisry,
And aye as she trips in the fleer,
`What is your will, Thomas?' she said,
`This day, ye know, ye calld me here.'

`Come hither by me, ye lily flower,
Come hither and set ye down by me,
For ye're the ane I've call'd upon,
And ye my wedded wife maun be.'

Then in it came true Thomas's bride,
And aye as she trippd on the stane,
`What is your will, Thomas?' she said,
`This day, ye know, ye calld my hame.'

`Ye hae come on hired horseback,
But ye'se gae hame in coach sae free;
For here's the flower into my bower
I mean my wedded wife shall be.'

`O ye will break your lands, Thomas,
And part them in divisions three;
Gie twa o them to your ae brother,
And cause your brother marry me.'

`I winna break my lands,' he said,
`For ony woman that I see;
My brother's a knight o wealth and might,
He'll wed nane but he will for me.'

Child #253
Version from Child from Buchan
filename[ TOMYONDR

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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