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Nae Wirk! Nae Howp?

The advent of consortia of farms in N.E. Scotland and increased use of modern machinery in the late 1960s and early 1970s had a direct effect on the availability of permanent jobs for many farm labourers. As a village dominie in this area at the time, I knew many young folks thus afflicted. .... this cameo song illustrates one of my memories of these difficult days.

Composed by John Henderson on the 18th of June, 2007
to Tarrega's lovely 19th Century guitar tune, 'Maria Louisa'.

Come awa wi me yersel .. lass.. an we'll walk,
Han in han tae oor cleuch's quait-ness, whaur we'll talk.
We micht fin syne,
Noo is richt time,
Plicht oor trowth, elope an git wad.

Gang walk an talk wi ye .. lad ... ye aft speir?
Wannerin they shadda'd pathways, we haud dear?
Ma heid's sweer tae;
Bit ma hairt's nae,
Gin ye sair'ous-ly wint tae wad.

Thon lass an lad did agree faist,
That they wid ging aff wad afore they left trachles weel ahint;
By fleein tae gowd coast o Spain, whaur
Eneugh sillar they howped they'd gain.


Come awa wi me yersel ... lass we'll ging
Hearken thon guitar's nait pluckings ... fyles we sing
Fremmit wirdies,
Tae drums' dirdies,
Nivver lik Scots ains ivver wis.

Twa years syne baith ye an me .. dool ...we did flee
Lan o' oor birth i' wil Norlans, ayont Dee.
Bit Spain's waarmer;
Wi guid wirk tee,
Nar at han .. for.. ye an me.

cleuch=glen/glade; fin=find; syne=then; richt=right;
plicht oor trowth=get engaged to be married;
wad=married; spier=ask; haud=hold; sweer=unwilling;
hairt=heart; sairiously=seriously; wint=want;
faist=quickly; trachles=troubles; ahint=behind;
fleein=flying; gowd=gold; whaur=where;
eneugh=enough; sillar=money; howped=hoped;
twa=two; efter=after; hearken=listen; nait=neat;
fremmit=foreign; wirdies=words; dirdies=thumps; ains=ones;
wis=was; baith=both; dool=sad; wil=wild; ayont=beyond;
wirk=work; nar at han=nearby;

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