University of Aberdeen Takes you to the main page for this section
Elphinstone Kist   Doric Plays

Fyvie     by: Wheeler, Les and Blackhall, Sheena

The Kitchen of Fyvie Castle Lang ago. A young loon lies sleepin on a shakkie doon near the fire.
Enter an auler umman body, Babbie,fa is the kitchie grieve.

Babbie: Come awa ye lazy vratch o a loon get up. (She kicks sleeping figure) Come awa, noo. Ye’v yer darg tae dae an ye canna dae it on yer back.

Peter: Govie Dick, is’t mornin already? An stop kickin me, will ye. I’m nae a beast.

Babbie: Na, wid get mair oot o a beast That fire better nae hin gaen oot. That’s fu ye get sic a gweed placie tae sleep – tae leuk efter the fire sae it hid better still be gyan.

Peter: I settled it aa richt last nicht sae stop worryin. I’ll jist gae it a kittle up an add a twa three peats an it’ll be grand.

Babbie: Weel fin ye’ve daen’t get oot an bring in mair clogs an peats for it’s gyan tae be a stormy nicht the nicht.

Peter: Fu div ye ken it’s gyan tae be stormy?

Babbie: Div ye nae ken the aul saw? Mackeral backs an mare’s tails gie the win tae full the sails! Weel that’s fit it’s like in the lift the day. Ye young eens ken nithin. Noo awa oot an get firin. Fan ye come back gyan up tae the garret an get they twa bizzims o skiffies oot o thir beds. We’ve the brackfest tae mak. Och, that’s anither thing. The girnals gey near teem ye’ll need tae gyan tae Tifty’s for meal.

Peter: Och, nae the mill as weel. Yon bugs o meal wey as muckle’s masel. Fit a trauchle it is gettin them hame.

Babbie: Weel, ye’ll jist hae tae tak the wee cartie, The roads are dry ivnoo say she shouldna be ower muckle o a shuv. Noo aff ye get.

Exit Peter for Firin.

Babbie: They jist dinna ken thir livin the young eens the day. Aathing’s a tchaav tae them. Thir lucky tae be daein thir darg for a gweed man like the Laird, thir’s mony worse forbye he’s a funny kine o cratur at times wi a wife that’s ower young an nae sense atween her lugs. Mine, she’s nae the anely wife like that. If ye mairry siller life’s nae gyan tae be aa gowd.
Och, here comes Peter wi the firin.
Enter Peter with firin an he pits it in a basket neist to the fire.
Noo, that’s it Peter ye’ve got yer day aff tae a gweed stert. Is the timmer dry? Yon weet stuff ye brocht in the ither day nearly smored us aa wi the rikk that it made.

Peter: Aye, I made sure it cam fae the middle o the pile.

Babbie: Weel done, loon. We’ll mak a man o ye yet. Noo, awa an get thae twa limmers up an tell them thiv five meenits an nae mair tae get doon here tae help me oot.
Exit Peter

Babbie: Thir nae bad quines, raelly, but yon Suffie’ll need tae waatch hersel . She’s far ower keen on the loons especially that orra chiel, Fobbie, fae the smiddy. He’s liftit mair petticoats nor I’ve hin bowls o brose an noo it’s Suffie he’s got his hauns on. Fit the lassies see in the lang dreep I dinna ken. He’s nae hauf the smith his faither is an he’s a heid fu o ferlies. Mine ye, the Laird seems tae tak tae him cos he’s a wye wi the shelts but aa I think he’s gweed for is fullin the foondlin hame wi wee geets an pittin feel quines in the peer’s hoose. But the young eens winna tak a tellin fae the likes o me. If the Laird’s happy wi them it’s nae my place tae say different for he’s aye been a gweed maister tae me.

Enter Peter, Suffie and Peggie

Weel, aboot time ye twa got oot o yer beds! Fit’s yer excuse, Suffie? Tired oot bi the smith’s loon last nicht wir ye?

Suffie: Weel if I’m tae be tired oot bi something I’d raither it wis that than cleanin, bakin an scrubbin muckit claes.

Peggie: Ye waashin muckit claes! That’ll be the day! I get left wi them ilka time an ye rin aboot tryin tae dicht the styoo an a gey peer job ye mak o that!

Suffie: Ye tellt me ye likit waashin claes ye leer. I aye mak a gweed job o the swipin an dustin.

Babbie: That’s eneuch fae ye twa. Yer worse than bairns. As for ye Suffie, ye’d better waatch yersel wi the Fobbie loon. Ye maun ken fit he’s like wi the quines.

Suffie: Och, I ken fine fit he’s like an I’m gyan tae get my share an if ye raelly wint tae ken I got a bit o ma share last nicht as weel an I canna say that I didna fair enjoy’t. Sae there!

Peggie: Ye winna be blawin sae muckle fin ye find yersel bairn’t bi the orra beast, I’ll tell ye.

Suffie: Yer jist jeelous, cos he’s nivver tried tae lift yer skirts an fa cwid blame him.

Babbie: Eneuch fae the twa o ye. Govie Dick ye’ll hae me dottled afore ma time. Richt, Peggie, ye get the meal for the porridge. I pit the lairds meal in tae soak last nicht in the kale bree sae it’s ben the hoose on the table. Bringt throw an we’ll get it hotterin on the fire.

Peggie: Fit wye dis ye aye like it made wi kale bree?

Babbie: He says it gaes it a better taste an if that’s the wye he likes it it’s nae oor place tae coonter that. Suffie, ye get on an get the brackfest table scrubbed. Mak a gweed job for ye ken fit the mistress is like aboot haein a clean table tae ait aff o. Peter, dinna staun there like a glaikit stirk, get doon tae Tifty’s for the meal.

Peter: Dyod! I’ll be worn oot an the day hardly stertit.

Exit Peter

Suffie: Aa this scrubbin an cleanin cam aboot since they stertit tae gyan doon tae Embro. It maun be some place. The mistress canna get eneuch o’t. Mine fan she cam haem wi the funcy silk slippers? I still lauch aboot yon yet.

Peggie: I ken! Mine she wint oot the front door wi them on richt oot ae the yaird. Dubs up ower her cweets an the gweed sheen connacht. Fit a wifie.

Babbie: We’ll hae a bittie mair repect fae ye twa.

Peggie: Aye, weel, ye hiv tae think thirs some thing wrang there. An fit aboot the Laird? Fit dis he get oot o gyan tae Embro? He’s maybe got a funcy wifie! He nivver taks the priest wi him noo an aul Gordon up at Gight aye his a priest wi him fan he gaes sooth.

Babbie: The Laird is nae interestit in ither weemin an if ye must ken I’ll tell ye fu that drunken gype o a priest o oors disna get tae gyan tae Embro ony mair for Erchie the coachman tellt me. The priest wis wi them yon first time an Erchie says the traivellin must hae curdled his wime for the Priest farted aa the wye tae the docks at Aiberdeen syne spewed aa the wye tae Leith on the boatie that’s fu he’s nae gettin back.

Peggie: Weel, I suppose ye could say that he wis daein his job. Is it nae the priest’s job tae cast oot fat’s nae gweed! Mine ye, I widna hae likit tae hae bin in the cairridge wi him blawin aff aa the time!

Suffie: I widna gyan ony wye wi Faither Padrick. He’s a full aul cyard!

Babbie: Noo,ye ken fine the Prior up at the priory gaed him a richt roastin aboot his cairryin on wi the quines an he pit a stop tillt. He’s a gweed man is the Prior an that ye ken richt weel.

Peggie: Aye, the Prior is but that priest’s jist a drunken gype. Cameloun’s wife wint tae confession an she wis nyatterin awa aboot her sins..

Babbie: She’d bin a whilie then.

Peggie: Onywye, there she wis cleckin on fan she jaloosed she wisna gettin muckle o a response fae the priest. She cam oot o the box, pulled back the curtain far the priest sits an there he wis full as a peer’s hoose chunty snorin awa tae himsel. She gaed him a richt clout an wint hame.

Babbie: Michty, ye pair an yer nyatterin. I near haun forgot the mistresses honey for her porridge. I’ll need tae mind Wullie tae gyan up tae the skeps an get’s anithe een or twa combs.

Suffie: That’s anither o the mistress’s Embro ploys. We nivver hid honey an porridge afore the Embro traivels. An fit aboot the claes! Yon funcy frock she socht hame the last time. Far ower lang for the styoo an dubs o Fyvie..

Peggie: Yer tellin me? I wis the een that his tae scrub the hems o the thing an that wis a richt job I can tell ye. I surprised the Laird pits up wi the Embro veesits. It maun cost a fair bit an thir’s aa the siller the Mistress spends on claes as weel.

Babbie: It’s his ain siller sae he can dae fit he likes wi it an disna hae tae answer tae the likes o you. The Laird did say that he maks affa gweed contacts doon there an he can hae his sae aboot the wye the country can be best run. Mine, I will say that they aye jist seem tae dae fit’s best for them an dinna worry aboot the lave.

Suffie: Nithin iver chynges for us. We jist hae tae tchaav awa an hope some loon’ll come alang an tak us awa till his craftie. Jist imagine, a wee cottar hoose an a man tae leuk efter. Fit rare.

Babbie: Yir dreamin again, quine. Thir’s nithin wrang wi wir darg here. We’ve a gweed Laird an he leuks efter us forbye.

Peggie: Weel his yetts is aye open tae veesitors, that’s true.

Babbie: Aye, I’d forgotten aboot the yetts aye being open. That’s anither thing that cam aboot efter the veesits tae Embro.

Suffie: Fit wye wis that?

Babbie: Weel, the Laird an the mistress hid bin at a pairty ae nicht een o them funcy hooses in Embro an he met in wi this chiel caad Thomas the Rhymer.

Peggie: Fit’sa rhymer?

Babbie: A maakar. He scrieves sangs an ballants but this een dis far mair nor that. He can tell fit’s gyan tae happen in the future.

Suffie: Ye mean like niestt wik or neist month.

Babbie: Och far mair nor that. He can leuk forrit hunner o years an he himsel can move back an forrit an aa.

Suffie: Nivver!

Babbie: Weel, that’s fit fowk say. An he traivels aboot the country bidin wi the monks an veesitin lairds an aitin wi them. Naebody refuses him - thir aa ower feart. He jist turns up at places withoot warnin an he’s aye dressed in bleck claes fae heid tae fit.
Peggie: But fit wye are the lairds feert o him?

Babbie: Cos it’s said he’s a wizard forbye he’s weel in wi the monks. He’s bade at Monymusk Priory an Deer Abbey sae he’s weel thocht o bi them. He can pit a curse on fowk an the wird is that they aye come true. Fan the Laird wis at this pairty he’d met in wi the chiel an the wizard said he’d come up ae nicht an veesit an tae mak sure the yetts wir aye open for him or he’d feel he’d bin insulted if they wirna. If the yetts wir shut he’d pit a curse on Fyvie an its fowk! But wiv wyted sivven ‘ear an he’s nivver stoppit in bye yet.

Enter Peter back fae the mill

Babbie: Noo, Peter, did ye get the meal?

Peter: I did that an hid a news wi packman fa’s jist come back fae the sooth.

Suffie: Ony news?

Peter: Nae muckle but he did say that he met up wi a queer kine o a chiel jist ootside Aiberdeen an they traivelt up here thegither. He said the chiel nivver said muckle but his claes wir bleck fae heid tae fit an he wis awa tae bide at Fyvie Priory for a puckle days.

Babbie: Govie Dick! It maun be Thamas the Rhymer!

Soond of lood hoastin is heard

An that’s the Laird haein his mornin hoast. Wait or he hears this little tale! Noo, quines is aathing ready for brackfest? He’ll be doon wi the mistress in a meenit.

Enter Laird and Mistress

Laird: Gweed day tae ye aa. Babbie, is ma porridge daen wi kale bree?

Babbie: Jist as ye like it Laird.

Laird: Babbie yer a treesure! Sit doon, ma dear. Ye can see that they’ve pit oot honey for yer porridge. Fit aboot ma bried, Babbie.

Babbie: Comin throu richt aff the griddle. Thin an brunt at the edges. Jist fu ye like it.
Laird: That’s fit I like tae see. Is yer porridge aa richt Mistress?

Mistress: Aye, but it’s jist nae quite as gweed as wi got fae Lady Balfour in Embro>

Laird: Weel, it wid be different. Different meal an different water. Noo, Babbie, ony news av aa?

Babbie: Aye, thir is but I’m nae sure if it’s gweed or bad.

Laird: If ye tell us syne we can decide for oorsels.

Babbie: Peter, come ower here an tell the Laird fit he heard at Tifty’s this mornin.

Laird: Tifty’s? Is the onything wrang wi the mill?

Peter: Na, na Laird. Fan I wint doon for meal the packman wis there an he wis sayin he’d traivelled up fae Aiberdeen wi a queer kine o a chiel dressed fae heid tae fit in black an that he wis gyan tae bide wi at Fyvie Priory. Babbie thocht it micht be fit’ his name.

Babbie: Thamas the Rhymer

Laird: Thomas the Rhymer! Here at Fyvie! Certes, he’s boond tae come roon the nicht for his denner. That’s the wye he dis things. Govie Dick! We’ll need tae mak sure aathings richt for the nicht. The best o victuals. We’ll hae venison hingin in the store an salmon in the ice hoose an get oot the best o yon French stuff,,fit div ye caa it? Claret! That’s the stuff an some ooskabay. Yon stuff that Gordon sent doon fae Huntly will dae. Aathing his tae be richt the nicht!

Babbie: But Laird, he winna come the nicht. Thirs a storm forecast sae he winna come oot in a nicht o win an rain. The win’s bad eneuch ivnoo an it maun get worse. If he can tell fit’s gyan tae happen in the future he’ll hae mair sense nor come oot in hellish widder.

Laird: We canna tak the chunce. Mak sure the yetts are wide an that aathings richt for if it’s nae it could be the end o Fyvie Castle an its fowk!

End of Scene One
Fyvie: Scene 2. In the wids. Twa widlan craiturs, rigged oot heid tae fit in green…feys/hornygollachs…..are rinnin backwirds an forrit in a fine steer

Fey 1: Fyvies wids are derk an deep
Fyvie’s far queer ferlies sleep
Reeshlin trees an rinnin deer
Speerits roon the castle steer

Fey 1: Somebody’s comin!
Fey 2: Somebody’s comin!
Fey 1: Fa can it be?
Fey 2: Fa can it be?
Fey1: I heard he’s a pouerfu shennachie
Fey 2: Foo’ll be ken him?
Foo’ll we ken him?
Fey 1: Wheesht! Here’s oor king and his lady!

Cernunnos, the Horned God o the wids, weirin his stag’s antlers, steps forrit, leadin his wife, a roe deer wi sma horns, ontae the side o the stage

Deer Queen:Oh husband we maun warn our fowk
Tae offer nae discourtesy
He kens the Future an the Past
This Tammas, wi aa-seein ee

Stag King: A michty warlock, ill tae cross
He has the gift o prophesie
Here is his story, wid-fowk aa
In truth, an eildritch history:

Back o the stage, a young Tammas an the Queen o the Feys, mime oot the warlock’s story, as telt bi the Cernunnos an his Queen

Stag King: True Tammas lay on Huntlie bank;
A ferlie he spied wi’ his ee;
And there he saw a ladye bricht
Come ridin doon by the Eildon Tree.

Deer Queen: Her skirt was o’ the grass-green silk,
Her mantle o’ the velvet fyne;
At ilka tett o’ her horse’s mane
Hung fifty siller bells an nine.

Stag King: True Thomas he pu’d aff his cap,
And he booed low doon on his knee:
‘Hail tae thee, Mary, Queen of Heaven!
For thy peer on earth could never be.’

Deer Queen: ‘O no, O no, Tammas,’ she said,
‘Thon name does nae belang tae me;
I’m but the Queen o’ fair Elfland,
That am cam here tae visit thee.

‘Harp an carp, Tammas,’ she said;
‘Harp an carp alang wi’ me;
An gin ye daur tae kiss my lips,
Sure of yer bodie I will be.’

Stag King: ‘Betide me weel, betide me wae,
Thon weird shall niver daunten me’
Syne he has kiss’d her rosy lips,
Aa in aneth the Eildon Tree.

Deer Queen: ‘Now ye maun gae wi’ me,’ she said,
‘True Tammas, ye maun gae wi’ me;
An ye maun serve me seeven years,
Thro’ weel or wae as may chaunce to be.’

Stag King: She’s mounted on her milk-white steed,
She’s ta’en true Thomas up ahin;
An aye, fin e’er her bridle rang,
The steed gaed swifter than the win.

O they rade on, an farther on,
The steed gaed swifter than the win;
Until they reach’d a desert wide,
An livin lan was left ahin.

Deer Queen: ‘Light doon, light doon noo, true Tammas,
An lean yer heid upon my knee;
Abide ye here a little space,
An I will show ye ferlies three.

‘O see ye nae yon nerra road,
Sae thick beset wi’ thorns an briers?
Thon is the Path of Richteousness,
Tho efter it but few inquires.

‘And see ye nae yon braid, braid road,
That lies across the lily leven?
Thon is the Path of Wickedness,
Tho some caa it the Road tae Heaven.

‘An see ye nae yon bonny road
That wynds aboot the fernie brae?
Thon is the Road tae fair Elfland,
Far thou an I this nicht maun gae.

‘But, Thomas, ye sall haud yer tongue,
Fit iver ye may hear or see;
For spakk ae wird in Elflyn-land,
Ye’ll ne’er win back to yer ain countrie.’

Stag King: O they rade on, an farrer on,
An they waded rivers abune the knee;
An they saw neither sun nor moon,
But they heard the roarin of the sea.

It was mirk, mirk nicht, there was nae starlicht,
They waded thro’ red bluid tae the knee;
For a’ the bluid that’s shed on earth
Rins through the springs o’ thon countrie.

Deer Queen: Syne they cam tae a gairden green,
An she pu’d an aipple frae a tree:
‘Tak this for yer wages, true Tammas;
It will gie thee the tongue that can niver lee.’

Stag King: ‘My tongue is my ain,’ true Tammas he said;
‘A gudely gift ye wad gie tae me!
I canna stert tae buy or sell
At fair or tryst far I micht be.
I can neither spikk tae prince or peer,
Nor ask o grace frae fair ladye!’—

Deer Queen: ‘Noo haud thy peace, Thomas,’ she said,
‘For as I say, sae must it be.’

Stag King: He has gotten a coat of the even claith,
An a pair o’ shoon o the velvet green;
An till seeven years were gaen an past,
True Tammas on earth was niver seen.

A curtain back o the stage far Tammas an the Fairy Queen mimed their tryst, rises, tae show the muckle yett o Fyvie castle, open, an servants ahin scoorin the fleer inbye. The widlan craiturs rin back an fore as the win rises an thunner an lichtenin flash ben the lift

Fey 1: The day grows gurly, the sun’s awa

Fey 2: The thunner cracks an the coorse wins blaa

Stag King: He comes, he comes, wife. Quick! Draw back
It’s an ill omen fin the Weather’s black!

The Stag King an Queen boo doon tae touch the grun wi their foreheids. The widlan craiturs cooer awa. Tammas the Rhymer, steps on stage, haudin a heich wizzent stick. He dunts it three times on the grun afore the open yett o the castle. Wi a knell, the yetts swing tee, as the lichtenin rummles an flashes. The warlock turns tae the audience an heists his airms an stick tae the air.


True Tammas: Fyvie, Fyvie thou'se never thrive,
As long as there are three stanes three:
There's ane intill the highest tower,
There's ane intill the ladye's bower,
There's ane aneath the water yett,
And thir three stanes ye'se niver get


Widlan Craiturs circle the warlock

Here sterts the curse o Fyvie’s stanes
Ane is hid in the auldest touer
Ae sits an greets in the charter room
Aneth lies far the Ythan’s waves rin ower

True Tammas knells his staff three times on the grun.

True Tammas: Watch the Future ye will see
Murder, daith an mystery
Widdershins I furl awa
Frae this wid o erne an craa
True Tammas wauks aff, Widlan Craiturs perform a dumb show o the history o the curse:
Stag King: Three stanes war bigg’t in Fyvie’s was
Taen frae the true Kirk’s Haly lair
Until aa three o them gyang back
Nae firstborn loon will be an heir

Deer Queen: The first bides in the Ythan Burn
The secunt stauns in Preston Touer
The third bides in the Charter Room
Kent tae the fowk as ‘Lady’s bower’

Stag King: Born at Dunfermline toon in Fife
Prince Charles I, tae Fyvie cam
An he wis slaw tae spikk, tae wauk
A sickly, shargeret royal lamb

An at his eyn the heids-man’s aixe
Cuttit his thrapple threids in twa
The smitt o Fyvie raxxed sae far
It helped tae bring his sair doonfaa

Deer Queen: Fin Lady Meldrum deed herein
Her body wis sealed in the waa
A secret room in Meldrum Tower
Fa enters, gars a curse doonfaa

She wauks, a lady aa in Grey
A speerit o the itherwarld
Can flit ben misty corridors
Tae ghaistly tricks an cantrips thirled

Fey 1: Syne Lilias Drummond cam tae bide
Sterved in the touer an sae undone
In Fyvie, Sandy Seton’s bride
Because she cudna bear a son

Seen eftir, fin the laird wis wed
A secunt time, on hinneymoon
Ootbye their windae, eildritch skirls
Lilias name, cut upside doon

An fin she wauks in robes o green
The guff o roses fulls the air
For murder disna leave the beens
Tae sattle peacefu in their lair

Fey 2: A ghaistly bagpiper is heard
Fa’s fingers war hacked aff langsyne
An whyles, a phantom trumpet souns
For Tifty’s Annie, bonnie quine

Hermless she wis, an douce as weel
Beaten an kicked like ony sack
For luvin the laird’s trumpeter
Her brither broke the lassie’s back

An noo she wauks ben Fyvie’s wids
Foriver murnin her tint luv
At gloamintime, the leaves amids
Fa coortit her, wi rose an glove

Stag King: A battle bi Montrose wis focht
Wi Irish sodjers in the line
And there, a luvseek captain deed
O luv for a young servant quine

Stag King an Deer Queen merch roon the stage beatin a drum:

There once was a troop o Irish dragoons,
Cam marchin doon through Fyvie o
The captain’s faan in love wi a very bonnie lass,
And her name it was cad Pretty Peggy o
Now there’s mony a bonnie lass in the howe o Auchterlass,
There’s mony a bonnie lass in the Garioch,
There’s mony a bonnie Jean in the toun o Aiberdeen,
But the floor o them aa is in Fyvie o
Oh it’s come doon the stair, Pretty Peggy my dear,
It’s come doon the stair Pretty Peggy o
Oh come doon the stair, comb back yer yalla hair,
Tak a last fareweel o yer daddy o
The colonel he cried, mount, boys, mount, boys, mount
The captain, he cried, tarry-o
O tarry yet a while, just another day or twa
Til I see if the bonnie lass will marry-o

Twas in the early morning, we marched awa
An O but the captain he was sorry-o
The drums they did beat o'er the bonnie braes o' Gight
And the band played the bonnie lass of Fyvie-o
It was early next morning fin we rode awa,
An o but our captain was sorry o,
The drums they did beat Oer the bonnie braes o Gight,
And the band played the lowlands o Fyvie o
Lang e’er we went intae auld Meldrum toon,
Its we had to carry our Captain o
Lang eer we went intae bonnie Aiberdeen,
It’s we had oor captain tae beery o
Green grow the birk on bonnie Ythanside,
And low lies the lowlands o Fyvie o
The captain’s name was Ned and he died for a maid,
He died for the bonnie maid o Fyvie o
Fey 1: There are stains o bluid on Fyvie’s flairs
There’s a murderer’s bust in the Librar waa
There’s a room wi a curse, that’s killed twa lairds
Their wives turned blin in thon fated haa

Fey 2: Tammas the Rhymer, strang, yer curse
Doon the centuries cast its weird
Tammas the Rhymer, warlock, bard
Pouerfu shennachie, famed an feared

Thunner an lictenin crack an aabidy rins aff tae feenish scene twa
Fyvie – Scene Three
The Present Day
The Castle Tea Room – the ghaists o The Green Lady, Thomas the Rhymer an Babbie the skiffie are present seen an heard by us bit nae by the veesitors tae the castle.

Babbie: Ah weel, anither day an mair fowk come tae see the castle. An fit are ye daein here, Thamas?I widna hae thocht ye’d come back here. Did ye nae caas eneuch trouble for’s on yer last veesit?

Thomas: I gyan roon aa the places far I’ve bin
Lang years syne, tho I dinna like this airt
I’ll nae forget the day thon Laird thocht fit
Tae slam his yetts afore me, thinkin’t smert

An eftir, tried tae blame it on the win!
I micht be auld, bit Babbie, I’m nae blin
I’ve gart the Lairds o Fyvie doon the years
Suffer for their ancestor’s great sin

Babbie: That wis echt hunner ‘ears ago. Kin ye nae gie it a rest?

Green Lady: Is he aye like this? It wid gie ye the dry boak the wye he gaes on. Fa is he? An fit’s he daein here onywye? He’s nae usually here for I canna mine on seein him afore.

Babbie: He’s Thamas the Rhymer an he’s the een fae stertit aa the trouble in the first place. He’s fae doon the Borders wye sae he’s maybe got an excuse. The aul Laird wis terrifeed o him but he still invited him tae the castle an he cam tae veesit ae nicht. Thir wis a storm an the yetts o the castle blew shut in his face. That fair got his dander up an he’s nivver forgotten’t an cursed the castle an its fowk aa cos o a puff o win.

Thomas: An it wis ainly richt I gart him grue.
I wis sae weel respectit in the lan
An yet, he socht me here tae ding me doon
Tae makk a gype ooto a michty man

Fit kinna welcome’s thon, I’d like tae ken?
I’m nae some nochtie cyard’s wife sellin preens
I’m as weel kent’s the great Sir Michael Scott
Fegs, Popes an Haly Emperors war his friens

My rhymes are better than auld Nostradamus
An he wis Catherine de Medici’s pet
Yet here at Fyvie, fin I cry inbye
Yer glekit laird he up an steeks his yett!


Green Lady: I hope ye hinna cam here tae upset aabody again. It’s bin fine an peacefu here for a puckle ‘ears noo an that’s the wye we like it. Sae dinna stert onything. Mind you fin I think on’t thir’s worse than you – thirs yon Grizzel Leslie for a stert but I got some o ma ain back on her. Thocht she could bed my man! Weel I seen gaed her a richt fleg fan she taen tae the mairrage bed for the first time. That nearly feenished the baith o them!

Babbie: Hud on the pair o ye. Thirs fowk comin in tae the chaumer for thir tea. Let’s hae a listen tae fit thir sayin.
Three wifies, Mary, Betty an Ethel come in for thir fly cup

Ethel: Och that’s fine thirs naebody here but us. We’ll hae that table ower there. Yiv got a funcy piece, Betty?

Betty: Aye, a fine scone, a slice o chocolate cake an a meringue. I’m feelin a bittie peckish efter aa the stairs.

Ethel: Fit aboot yer diabetes?

Betty: Weel, the nurse said I could hae a wee treat noo an again an I jist hid twa rowies an a penguin yisterday sae I’m aa richt wi this. Onywye I winna hae anither bleed check for twa month. Did ye enjoy the castle, Mary?

Mary: Och, aye. I aye like it at Fyvie. It’s ma favourite castle.

Ethel: Fit wye’s that, Mary?

Mary: I think thiv got the best scones. Thae fruit eens are jist stottin.

Betty: Div ye nae like the pictirs an the furniture?

Mary: Aye, but the scones is ma favourite.

Ethel: Hae, spikkin aboot pictirs. Ye ken fan we come oot o the roomie wi the pictir o the big mannie wi the wee shelt? Did ye see the wifie that wint doon the stairs? I could’ve swore that wis Agnes Berry. I hidna seen her for ‘ears. I thocht she’d moved tae Perth. Mine, she hid a funcy mannie fae doon there fa she met fin he wis drivin a larry atween Perth an Aiberdeen.

Betty: Och, I hidna seen her for ten ‘ears as weel an I wid nivver hae recognised her if it hidna been for her coat.

Thomas: Fit kinna spikk is this? Fit styte! Fit blethers!
They should be punished for sic clashmaclavers
Hae preens pit throwe their tongues, their lugs cut aff
Thon Betty, noo, is naethin bit a nyaff!

Babbie: Jist cos they dinna spik aboot ballads, sangs an orra wizards disna mean thir spikkin rubbish. Noo shut up a meenit an we’ll hear a bittie mair.

Mary: Fit did ye think o the wifie fa showed us roon?

Ethel: She wis affa gweed. I likit her stories aboot ghaists an that wis an affa thing yon peer wife being bricked up in a room aa by hersel Fit a shame.

Betty: Aye, an it wis richt queer that fan they tried tae move her beens tae the kirkyaird the hoose wis tyraneesed by bangs an roars an jist an affa din. Funny fu it aa stoppit fan they pit the beens back. Queer thon, wis it?

Mary: That’s aa verra weel,, Betty, but thir jist stories. They mak them up jist tae mak yer veesit mair interestin. That’s richt is it, Ethel?

Ethel: Aye, I suppose they micht fluff them up a bit an exaggerate, but I think thirs probably a grainie o truth in some o them. Yon Lillias Drummond certainly bade in the castle an wis mairried tae een o the lairds. I mine we cam wi the kirk guild ae time an thir wis a professor mannie fae the varsity wi us an he said that she definitely deed here but wisna sure if she wis murdered or no. He couldna explain the upside doon scrievin o her name unner the winda either.

Green Lady: I kent they’d be spikkin aboot me. Fowk aye like my story. I’m een a the stars o this place. I affen winner fu mony fowk come here jist tae hear aboot me. Mine ye, I’d like tae meet in wi that professor an I’d tell him fu true it aa is. Huh! Grizzel Leslie near filt her drawers fan I cam burstin throwe the windae!

Babbie: Wi aa ken fu muckle fowk like yer story but thir’s mair tae the castle than jist ye. Thirs my kitchens for a stert an aa the pictirs as weel.

Mary: Did ye see the organ? Fit a stotter. Mine it disna play I dinna think.

Betty: That’s maybe jist as weel for if it’s as lood as it leuks ye widna be able tae staun the noise. It micht blaw the castle doon.

Mary: Yon Thamas chiel made plinty o din fan he cam her tae curse aabody. Fit a chuncer!

Betty: Aye fit wis’t they caad him? Thamas the fit?

Ethel: He wis Thamas the Rhymer an he cam fae the Borders doon aboot the Eildon Hills.

Mary: Far’s that?

Ethel: Near haun Melrose. Mine, wi wint there wi a bus tour a couple o ‘ear ago.

Betty: I mind fine on Melrose. We wint tae the tea room in the mill shoppie an they hid raelly fine muffins. I’d ging back there aa richt.

Mary: Fit’s a rhymer, onywye?

Ethel: He scrieved poems an sangs but I canna say I’ve ivver heard ony o them.

Betty: I dinna think onybody bithers wi poetry nooadays. It’s aa telly an play stations an fitiver. Nae body wid piye ony attention tae him the day.

Mary: The guide wifie said he wis a wizard or a warlock or something.

Ethel: Weel, that’s fit fowk thocht he wis but they didna ken ony better back lang ago. They’d believe onything.

Betty: The wifie fair made something o it, tho’. She wint on an on aboot the yetts being blawn intae his face fan he cam tae veesit an he pit a curse on the placie.

Ethel: Aye, weel, they hiv till cos fowk expect that fan thiv piyed tae come in. Ye hae tae gie them a gweed story but that’s aa it is. Naebody wid believe aa that aboot spells an curses nooadays. We’ve hin an educatshun an fowk widna be taen in by a neep fae the Borders. We ken far better nor that

Mary: I ken, Ethel. Can ye imagine fowk listenin tae aa that buff. Wiv listened tae ower mony politeeshens tae be taen in by fowk blawin thir ain trumpets.

Babbie: Did ye hear that, Thamas? They think yer nithin but a bigsy neep! Thir maybe nae far fae the truth there, ha,ha!

Thomas: A neep is it! Thon feels caad me a neep!
I’ll let them ken the wirst this neep can dae
Ye’d think thon Fyvie fowk wid aa hae larned
That by misfittin me will bring doon wae!


Babbie: Noo, dinna get cairriet awa, Thamas. They didna ken fit yer like sae dinna get yer draarers in a twist.

Thomas lifts his airms an pynts at the three wifies

Thomas: Dinna think I’ve lost ma poo’er
Ye will find within an ‘oor
Jist cos ye caad me a neep
I will split yer shelties feet!

Babbie: Och, Thamas, gie’t a break. Fowk dinna ride shelties nooadaays, Yer spikkin tae yersel.

Thomas: My wirds ay hae a wye tae takk effect
The Union o the Croons, I did predict
The daith o Alexander aff the cliff
A cursin on claikin weemin I inflict
As wheechin widdershins, I birl awa
Back hame tae Eildon far fowk shaw respect
Far fowk ken better than tae takk the rise
O warlocks, wi ma fans tae reconnect

Exit Thomas

Green Lady: Thank the lord he’s awa. Fit a bundle o joy he is? They must hae great nichts doon in the Borders wi him in chairge o the fun.

Ethel: Noo, quines, you twa bide here for a meenit an I’ll nip doon an get the car oot o the car park sae wir set tae get hame afore the lave aa leave. Wi dinna wint tae be held up ower lang an we’d need tae get intae Aiberdeen afore the tea time traffic brings aathing tae a staun still.

Exit Ethel

Mary: That’s bin a fine day oot, Betty. I fair enjoy wir wee run in Ethel’s car. Wir gyan tae Ballater next Widinsday are we? I like Ballater. That’s a rare cafe we gyan in till.

Betty: Aye. It’s a bonnie run up Deeside aa yon trees an waater an Ethel likes you beuk shoppie as weel.

Mary: I’m nae sae keen on beuks. I like the evenin paper tae read in my bed. I like tae read aboot fowk an places I ken.

Betty: I ken fit ye mean but I like the Weemin’s Wikkly an the People’s Freen. Ye get rare stories in them an recipes.

Mary: Div ye mind on the Reid Letter. My mither eesed tae get it an I likit the stories but ye nivver see it nooadays.

Betty: D’ye think we should hae anither piece? I’m gettin hungry again.

Mary: Gweed bi here, Betty, if ye hae ony mair we’ll nivver get ye oot o the door. Onywye, Ethel winna be a meenit an ye ken she disna like tae be kept wytin. D’ye mine the mood she got in yon time at the Clatterin Briggie fan thir wis an affa queue for the laavies an it took near haun half an oor tae get aabody throwe.

Betty: I ken fit ye mean. She got that fae her mither, She wis a conductress on the aul Bluebird busses an my but she packit them on an if they wirna swack she wis aff aathoot them. She wis a richt bissim wis Ethel’s mither.

Mary: But she wis a rare lauch at Hogmanay. She did a great impression o Dave Willis fan he did the Air Raid Warden. D’ye mind that.

Betty: Yer gyan back a bittie there, Mary. I’d forgotten aa aboot Ethel’s mither an her Dave Willis. We’d rare fun lang ago fan ye think on’t.

Mary: Aye, but times are far better noo. Naebody we kent hid cars back then, did they? Noo, wiv aa fridges an tellies an duvet covers an funcy cookers. Times are aye chynging, are they?

Betty: Yer richt there, Mary. The past’s awa an ye can nivver bring it back except fan wir here an can leuk at it.

Mary: Hud on, Betty. Ethels on her wye back an she’s nae leukin affa happy.

Enter Ethel

Betty: Fit on earth’s wrang, Ethel. Ye leuk like ye’ve seen a ghaistie.

Ethel: Yir nae gyan tae believe this, but fan I got tae the car aa fower tyres hid bin slashed. Cut richt throwe. I spiered at pair o chiels fa wir warkin on the trees in the car park an they said naebody hid bin near ony o the cars. Aa they heard wis fower pops an saa that my tyres had aa split open an naebody near them,

Mary: But fit can hae caased them tae split. Een maybe, but fower widna aa blaw up thegither!

Ethel: But that’s nae the worst o’t. Nae only hiv my fower tyres bin hackit but on the drivers windae, faeivver did it, hid scratchit a name.

Betty: Fit hid they scrieved, Ethel?

Ethel: Yir nae gyan tae believe this but they’d scrieved ‘Eildon’!

Aathings Deen Noo



© University of Aberdeen   Return to Home page