When I Was a Wee Thing (2) 1. When I was a wee thing, 'Bout six or seven year auld, I had no worth a petticoat, To keep me frae the cauld. Then I went to Edinburgh, To bonnie burrows town, And there I coft a petticoat, A kirtle, and a gown. As I cam hame again, I thought I wad build a kirk, And a' the fowls o' the air Wad help me to work. The heron, wi' her lang neb, She moupit me the stanes; The doo, wi' her rough legs, She led me them hame. The gled he was a wily thief, He rackled up the wa'; The pyat was a curst thief, She dang down a'. The hare came hirpling owre the knowe, To ring the morning bell; The hurcheon she came after, And said she wad do't hersel. The herring was the high priest, The salmon was the clerk, The howlet read the order-- They held a bonnie wark. 2. As I was walking through the wud I begood a-biggin' a kirk; An' a' the beasties in the wud Helpit me to work. The beastie wi' the ae horn Howkit a' the stanes; The beast wi the rough fit Trailed them a' hame. Hairie hippit thro' the kirk, An' rang the mornin' bell; Hymen was the high priest, An' Choral was the clerk; An' bonnie sang the mavis; An' that's a merry wark. 3. When I was a little laddie Of nine or ten years auld, I hadna a petticoat To keep me frae the cauld. I went away to Edinburgh, That bonnie burgh toun, And there I got a petticoat, A mantle, and a goun. I gaed awa to Holyrood Ha', And there I built a kirk, And a' the birds o' the air They helpit me to work: The whaup wi' her lang legs She dug up the stane, The dove wi' her reid legs She brocht them hame; The pyet was a wiley bird, And she bug up the wa'; But the craw was a dirty beast, And she pu'd down a'. ________________________________________________________ (1) Chambers PRS (1847), 184; (1870), 27; Montgomerie SNR (1946), 117 (no. 148). Variant, with music, in Moffat 50 TSNR (1933), 17 [st. 3 And as I hameward wandered/ birdies; 4-6 omitted; 7.3-4 The bullfinch played the organ/ All in my bonnie kirk!] Air, Lennox Love to Blantyre. (2) Greig FSNE xxii.2. Ultimately from Strichen. (3) Rymour Club Misc. II (1912-19), 42, from Hawick. [Bug = biggit, "built".] ODNR 189 (no. 187), English version from Halliwell, 1853. MS oct99
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!