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Elphinstone Kist   Bothy Ballad, Music, Sport & Leisure, History

Macfarlan O The Sprots     by: Thomson, George Bruce

Afore that I’d be tyraneest as I this file hae been,
I’d raider rin fae here tae Birse wi piz in baith my sheen,
I’d raither dee fae want a breath than pine for want o love;
An it’s a becus Macfarlan’s mairret Susy.
Susy’s cankert fadder wi mine could never gree,
An aye fin I gaed ower that gait he’d hun his dog at me;
I sent my freen Macfarlan doon tae try fat he could dee,
Macfarlan o the Sprotts a Birnieboosie.

I dinna like Macfarlan noo, I’m safe aneuch to state,
His lugs wid cast a shaida ower a sax-fit gate;
He’s saft as ony gorblin, bit he’s sliddery as a skate,
Macfarlan o the Sprotts a Birnieboosie.

Macfarlan spak nae word for me, bit plenty for imsel;
He reest the lassie’s barley scones, her kebbick an her kail,
Her fadder cried oot, ‘Sprotts, ye shid try yer luck yersel,’
Tae Macfarlan o the Sprotts o Birnieboosie.
Macfarlan he’s the grimmest chiel for twenty mile a roon,
They buy his fottygraf tae fleg the rottans fae a toon;
He kyttit up his spunk at this, an speert gin she’d come doon
An be mistress o the Sprotts o Birnieboosie.

I dinna like Macfarlan noo, I’m safe eneuch tae state,
His lugs wid cast a shaida ower a sax-fit gate;
He’s saft as any gorblin, bit he’s sliddery as a skate,
Macfarlan o the Sprotts o Birnieboosie.

He said that he wis able baith tae play at coup-the-ladle,
Wi a laidder ower a tricle cask, an ca the churn forby,
Anidder o his win’ers wis that sawdust mist wi cin’ers
Wis their spice for feedin hens at Birnieboosie.
An educatit ostrich fae the wilds a Timbuctoo
He hid for scrattin up his neeps, an hidna them tae pu;
I never heard the like o that come oot o ony mou
But Macfarlan o the Sprotts o Birnieboosie.

I dinna like Macfarlan, it’s awfu, bit it’s true;
A pewyter speen wis tint in Jock Macfarlan’s mou;
He couldna weel be grimmer, he sups brose wi a skimmer,
Macfarlan o the Sprotts o Birnieboosie.

Oh, a dirl o the teethic’s nae particularly sweet,
Bit love’s the only pine on earth that ever gart me greet;
It’s like kyttly chillblains roon yer hert instead a on yer feet,
They war aggravatit by the sicht o Susy.
Noo freens an kine philosophers, ye’ve heard fat me befel
Never lippen tull a middleman, bit dee yer wark yersel
Or I’ll bet my winter sarket ye’re a day ahin the market
Like fin I sent Jock Macfarlan doon the Susy.

I dinna like Macfarlan noo, I’m fairly aff o Jock,
I dinna like Macfarlan, nor Macfarlan’s folk;
May his Susy nae be turtle, bit the tyangs aran the spurtle
Bring oot ower the heed a Jock o Birnieboosie.



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