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The Piper
by W. D. Cocker

Cocker was born in Glasgow and worked there as a journalist on the Daily Record, but his poems mostly evoke the Stirlingshire farms of his mother’s family.

Oor Burns Club Supper was held in the ha’— 
Oh! sirs, here’s a baur worth the tellin’— 
There was rowth o’ guid cheer, an’ a dram for us a’,
An’ oor he’rts Wi’ contentment were swellin’,
Fair swellin’!
Oor he’rts wi’ contentment were swellin’.

There was peace an’ guidwill till the haggis cam’ roun’,
An’ a piper cam’ roun’ wi’ the haggis;
An’ wha was the piper but yon glaikit loon,
The gomeral son o’ auld Maggie’s,
Auld Maggie’s,
The fushionless son o’ auld Maggie’s?

His pipes in his oxter, his face like the mune,
Oh, deil tak’ his drones an’ his chanter!
For och! sic a skirl he gied for a tune
It scunner’d the laird o’ Glenbranter,
Ay, scunner’d the laird o’ Glenbranter.

Then up frae the fire rise oor doverin’ dougs,
Wi’ een that for mercy implore us;
They think we hae ta’en an ill-will to their lugs
An’ they jine wi’ a yowl in the chorus,
The chorus,
They jine wi’ a yowl in the chorus.

Auld Duncan McTavish he girn’d an’ he grued. 
Could he thole it, the puir Hielan’ buddie? 
In his auld-farrant wey he sat thinkin’ alood,
An’ he syne ca’d the piper a cuddie, 
A cuddie!
He syne ca’d the piper a cuddie.

When supper was feenish’d oor chairman, Tam Reid
Said: "We’ve had a harmonious meetin’,
But the epithet cuddie ‘s been flung at the held
O’ the piper; an’ noo he is greetin’,
Ay, greetin’!
I tell ye the piper is greetin’."

Then Duncan spak’ up, an’ nae man we’re agreed
Is in age or experience riper:
"Sir, wha’ ca’d the piper a cuddie ne’er heed;
But wha ca’d the cuddie a piper?
A piper!
Oh, wha’ ca’d the cuddie a piper?"

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