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Elphinstone Kist   Doric Verse, History, Bairn Rhyme

Waatchword!     by: Wheeler, Les

Back seven hunner years ago, the Bruce wis Scotland’s king
But the English widna listen tae his claim.
Wi thir freen the Earl o Buchan they challenged Bruce’s richt
An huntit Bruce’s fowk wi sword an flame.

Bruce kent that he wid hae tae act an, even tho nae weel,
At Slains he thocht o maitters o some wecht.
An airmy seen he’d hae at haun, for he kent in Aiberdeen
The fowk wid get ahin him in a fecht.

At Barra, near Aul Meldrum, the airmies made their staun-
The sodgers stood an faced each ither doon
Bruce kent richt weel that in a fecht a lot o bleed wid skail-
Fit ither wye wis there tae keep his croon?

The Earl an his English freens wir confident they’d win;
They tellt the Bruce that he’d be wise tae yield.
But the Bruce an Aiberdonians seen showed them fit wis fit
An drove the English airmy fae the field.

The Aiberdonians won the day but kent they hadna feenisht
For the Castle in the toon still wisna free.
‘We’ll gyang this nicht an tak it an drive the English oot
They’ll seen be rinnin back oot ower the Dee!’

‘Jist haud on, chiels,’ King Robert cried,’ye’ll aa need tae watch oot;
A waatchword is fit’s needit in the nicht.
An ye dinna wint tae kill yer ain or mak a move that’s wrang
Wi a waatchword ilka man’ll dae fit’s richt!’

The castle gairds jist stood nae chunce, oor loons wir ower swack.
They chased the English oot wi spear an sword.
The waatchword o the King hid wirked an that is foo the day
In Aiberdeen the motto’s Bon Accord!’



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