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Barnyards o Delgaty
by Jock Duncan

Click here to listen to the song

One of the most famous of all the old bothy ballads. The farm of Barnyards is on the Delgaty estate a mile north east of Turriff. Greig opens his Buchan Observer article on Ploughman Songs with Barnyards (FSNE 4, GD 347). The song is no doubt a parody of life as it would really have been on this particular farm. The song, which was probably written early last century, seems to be related to Rhynie. There is an overlap between the various versions of each, both song and tune.

Jock: There's no way that any place, Barnyards o Delgaty or anywhere else, would hae a deen pair of horses. The Barnyards had aye the best pair o horses a great ferm toun that. I jist wonder what the present owner that cam back fae Canada thinks o the song. I aye reckon that Drunken Scot he wisna mairried that wis his sister, Lang Meg Scot, that wis in the hoose.

As I cam in by Turra market,
Turra market for tae fee,
I met in wi Drunken Scot,
Fae the barnyards o Delgaty.
Linten adie touran adie, linten adie touran ae,
Linten lourin lourin lourin, lilta lourin lourin lee.

He promised me the twa best horse,
I ever set ma een upon;
Fan I got hame tae the barnyards,
There wis naething there but skin and bone.

The auld black horse sat on his hunkers,
The auld white mare lay on her wime, [i.e. belly
And aa that I could up and cry,
They widna rise at yokin time.

Lang Meg Scot, she maks ma bed,
I can see the marks upon ma shins,
For she's a coorse illtrickit jaud, [i.e. mischievous girl
She fills ma bed wi prickly whins.

Meg McPherson maks ma brose,
Her an me we canna agree,
First a mote and then a knot, [i.e. a little then a lump
And aye the ither jilp o bree. [i.e. spill the rest

Fin I ging tae the kirk on Sunday,
Mony's the bonnie lass I see,
Sittin by their daddies' side,
An winkin ower the pews at me.

Noo I can drink and nae get drunk,
An I can fecht and nae be slain,
An I can coort anither man's lass,
An aye be welcome tae ma ain.

The cannle noo it is burnt oot, [i.e. candle
The snotter's fairly on the wane, [i.e. the wick burnt down
Sae fare ye weel ye barnyards,
Ye'll niver catch me here again.
Linten adie touran adie, linten adie touran ae,
Linten lourin lourin lourin, lilta lourin lourin lee.

You can purchase a CD with this song at Springthyme Records

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