Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Robert Burns

The deil cam fiddlin' thro' the town,
And danc'd awa wi' th' Exciseman,
And ilka wife cries, "Auld Mahoun,
I wish you luck o' the prize, man."
Chorus-The deil's awa, the deil's awa,
The deil's awa wi' the Exciseman,
He's danc'd awa, he's danc'd awa,
He's danc'd awa wi' the Exciseman.

We'll mak our maut, and we'll brew our drink,
We'll laugh, sing, and rejoice, man,
And mony braw thanks to the meikle black deil,
That danc'd awa wi' th' Exciseman.
The deil's awa, &c.

There's threesome reels, there's foursome reels,
There's hornpipes and strathspeys, man,
But the ae best dance ere came to the land
Was-the deil's awa wi' the Exciseman.
The deil's awa, &c.
Footnote : Robert Burns wrote this rollocking song for one of Collector John Mitchell's Excise Court dinners as he confirmed in a letter to John Leven, an Edinburgh General Supervisor, in March 1792. However John Gibson Lockhart gave a much more romantic and overwritten version of the song's composition. According to Lockhart our National Bard wrote the song whilst awaiting the arrival of fellow gauger John Lewars and a party of dragoons from Dumfries prior to the capturing of the smuggling brig Rosamond in the Solway Firth. Sword in hand, Burns, according to the tale, was one of the first to board the vessel. The Rosamond was to land Robert Burns in hot water with his Excise superiors as he purchased four carronades at the public roup of the ship and its contents. Burns sent the carronades as a gift to the French Convention to show sympathy with the cause but the carronades were subsequently seized by the authorities at Dover, England, en route for France. There was nothing illegal in Robert Burns' actions but it led to the disapproval of his government employers.

Return to Sing A Sang At Least


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus