Wee Bit Wifie 1. There was a wee bit wifie, Who lived in a shoe; She had so many bairns, She kenn'd na what to do. She gaed to the market To buy a sheep-head; When she came back They were a' lying dead. She went to the wright To get them a coffin; When she came back They were a' lying laughing. She gaed up the stair, To ring the bell; The bell-rope broke, And down she fell. 2. There was an auld wife that lived in a shoe, She had first twins, syne twins, and twice twins too; She whippit them all soundly, and sent them to bed, And when she went in she found them all dead. She went to the vricht's to get a coffin made, She thocht o' the bairns, but it was hersel' instead; She gaed up the stair to ring the bell, But slipp'd her fit and doon she fell, And got the coffin to hersel. ________________________________________________________ (1) Halliwell NRE (1842) 40 (lxiii), as a Scots version of the well-known English rhyme. Somewhat more Scots in Montgomerie SC 169 (no. 314). (2) Rymour Club Misc. II (1912-19), 54, from Mintlaw, Buchan, Aberdeenshire. An extra line is given from a Forfar variant, "And was buried in the ase-hole." Cf. ODNR 434 (no. 546). MS oct96
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!