O' a' the seasons o' the year
When we maun wark the sairest,
The harvest is the only time,
And yet it is the rarest.
We rise as seen as mornin' licht,
Nae craters can be blither;
We buckle on oor finger-steels,
And follow oot the scyther.
For you, Johnnie, you Johnnie,
You, Johnnie Sangster,
I'll trim the gavel o' my sheaf,
For ye're the gallant bandster.
A mornin' piece to line oor cheek,
Afore that we gae forder,
Wi' cloods o' blue tobacco reek
We then set oot in order.
The sheaves are risin' thick and fast,
And Johnnie he maun bind them;
The busy group, for fear they stick,
Can scarcely look ahint them.
I'll gie ye bands that winna slip,
I'll pleat them weel and thraw them;
I'm sure they winna tine the grip,
Hooever weel ye draw them.
I'll lay my leg oot owre the sheaf,
And draw the band sae handy,
Wi' ilka strae as straucht's a rash,
And that'll be the dandy.
A dainty cowie in the byre,
For butter and for cheeses;
A grumphie feedin' in the stye
Wad keep the hoose in greases.
A bonnie ewie in the bucht
Wad help to creesh the ladle;
And we'll get ruffs o' cannie woo
Wad help to theek the cradle.
If e'er it chance to be my lot
To get a gallant bandster,
I'll gar him wear a gentle coat,
And bring him gowd in handfu's.
But Johnnie he can please himsel',
I wadna wish him blinkit;
Sae, aifter he has brewed his ale,
He can sit doon and drink it.
Footnote - According to the great folk song collector, Gavin Greig, this song was the work of William Scott who was born in Fetterangus in the Parish of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, in 1785. Scott who began life as a herd-laddie subsequently moved to Aberdeen where he was apprenticed to a tailor. Later he worked, for a time, in London, England, and after visiting America returned to Old Deer where he spent the remainder of his life.