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THE SCRANKY BLACK FARMER
Traditional

At the tap o' the Garioch, in the lands of Leith-hall,
A scranky black farmer in Earlsfield did dwell;
Wi' him I engaged a servant to be,
Which makes me lament I went far from the sea.
 
I engaged wi' this farmer to drive cart and ploo;
Haed fortune convenit an ill-fated crew,
I ane of the number, which causes me rue
That e'er I attempted the country to view.
 
It's early in the mornin' we rise to the yoke,
The storm and the tempest can ne'er make us stop;
While the wind it does beat, and the rain it does pour,
And aye yon black farmer on us does glowre.
 
But the time is expiring, and the day it will come,
To various countries we all must go home;
Bonnie Jeannie must travel, bonnie Bawbie also,
Back to the beyont o' Montgomery must go.
 
So farewell, Rhynie, and adieu to you, Clatt,
For I hae been wi' you baith early and late -
Baith early and late, baith empty and fou,
So farewell, Rhynie, I'll bid you adieu.
 
So farewell, Bawbie, and adieu to you all,
Likewise to the farmer that lives at Leith-hall;
For to serve this black farmer I'm sure it's nae sport,
So I will be going to my bonnie seaport.

Footnote : An Aberdeenshire Bothy Ballad - Aberdeenshire was a rich source for Bothy Ballads as testified by the many songs collected by the great Gavin Greig. This rich vein of song arose from the communal nature of the bothy life as the farmworkers put into song descriptions of their daily life and work, praise of their horses or sweethearts, or as in this song, the opportunity to record their true feelings about their farming masters. In this song the farmer is described as scranky ie mean.

 


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