Digital Tradition Mirror

When I Was a Wee Thing

When I Was a Wee Thing

     When I was a wee thing,
       And just like an elf,
     All the meat that e'er I gat,
       I laid upon the shelf.

     The rottens and the mice
       They fell into a strife,
     They wadnae let my meat alane
       Till I gat a wife.

     And when I gat a wife,
       She wadnae bide therein,
     Till I gat a hurl-barrow,
       To hurle her out and in.

     The hurl-barrow brake,
       My wife she gat a fa';
     And the foul fa' the hurl-barrow,
       Cripple wife and a'.

     She wadnae eat nae bacon,
       She wadnae eat nae beef,
     She wadnae eat nae lang-kail,
       For fyling o' her teeth:

     But she wad eat the bonnie bird,
       That sits upon the tree:
     Gang down the burn, Davie, love,
       And I sall follow thee.
     Herd MSS.; Herd 1776 II.213 (tune, John Anderson my Jo);
     Montgomerie SNR (1946), 87 (no. 107; omits st. 2 and 4),
     probably from Moffat 50 TSNR (1933), 23, similarly
     defective [with tune, a version of John Anderson]; ODNR
     96 (no. 71), "When I was a little boy" etc.; first ref.
     Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, c.  1744.  The last two
     lines are from the conclusion of stanza 1 of Robert
     Crawford's "Doun the Burn, Davie", a love song appearing
     in TTM (1724), and with music in Orpheus Caledonius,

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