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G S Morris
Sung by Peter D Wright

Fan I was only ten year auld, I left the pairish schweel.
My faither he fee'd me tae the Mains tae chaw his milk and meal.
I first pit on my narrow breeks tae hap my spinnel trams,
Syne buckled roon my knappin' knees, a pair o' Nicky Tams.
It's first I gaed on for baillie loon and syne I gaed on for third,
An' syne, of course, I had tae get the horseman's grippin' wird,
A loaf o' breed tae be my piece, a bottle for drinkin' drams,
Bit ye canna gyang thro' the caffhouse door without yer Nicky Tams.
The fairmer I am wi' eynoo he's wealthy, bit he's mean,
Though corn's cheap, his horse is thin, his harness fairly deen.
He gars us load oor cairts owre fou, his conscience has nae qualms,
Bit fan breist-straps brak there's naething like a pair o' Nicky Tams.
I'm coortin' Bonnie Annie noo, Rob Tamson's kitchie deem,
She is five-an-forty an' I am bit siventeen,
She clorts a muckle piece tae me, wi' different kinds o' jam,
An' tells me ilka nicht that she admires my Nicky Tams.
I startit oot, ae Sunday, tae the kirkie for tae gyang,
My collar it was unco ticht, my breeks were nane owre lang.
I had my Bible in my pooch, likewise my Book o' Psalms,
Fan Annie roared, "Ye muckle gype, tak' aff yer Nicky Tams."
Though unco sweir, I took them aff, the lassie for tae please,
Bit aye my breeks they lirkit up, a' roon aboot my knees.
A wasp gaed crawlin' up my leg, in the middle o' the Psalms,
So niver again will I enter the kirk without my Nicky Tams.
I've often thocht I'd like tae be a bobby on the Force,
Or maybe I'll get on the cars, tae drive a pair o' horse.
Bit fativer it's my lot tae be, the bobbies or the trams,
I'll ne'er forget the happy days I wore my Nicky Tams.
Footnote : Be brave, be very brave, click on to hear my favourite Cornkister by G S Morris and my party piece - it will come as no surprise that I am not asked for an encore! G S Morris enriched our Bothy Ballad tradition and his songs are still widely enjoyed.Nicky Tams, as David Toulmin explains in 'Buchan Claik', were leather straps with buckles worn under the knee by farmworkers. They were fashionable before the days of the welly-boot and kept the trouser legs out of the mud. They were also known as Waal-Tams.

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