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Mhairi An' Tam

Lyrics composed by John Henderson on the 6th of September, 2013,
to Gordon Pattullo's playing of the traditional Scottish song 'Misty Islands of The Highlands'.

frae=from; ilka=ev'ry; gloamin'=evening; tice=coax; laden=loaded with milk; kye=cows; hame=home; ow'r=over; roddies=pathways or roads; meeved=moved; glegly=eagerly; kennin'=knowing; fesh=bring; ilk=each; wame=stomach; fam=when; traivels=journeys; vyce=voice; hard=heard; sangin'=singing;
douce=peaceful; gled=glad; byre=milk-shed; jo=sweetheart; jyned=joined; inbye=inside; mulkin'=milking; gaen=going; greepin'=draining; crummies=cows; sairin=filling; oors=hours; baith=both; airned=earned; waakie= short walk; wanners=wanders; bauch=shy; teuk=took; airm=arm; fusp'rin'=whispering; naithins=nothings; aye=always; fair= quite; ameesed=amused; lang=long; saftly=softly; oontil=until; swarfin'=swooning; howps=hopes; seen=soon; wur=were; reezed=raised; seen=soon; spreer'd=asked; gudeman=husband; wad=wed; gif=if; thrang=busy; hoose=house; dooblin'=doubling; wirk=work; dee=die.

Verse 1.

Frae ... the carselan', ilka gloamin',
Mhairi McGhee gaed tice her laden kye back hame;
Ow'r the roddies, they meeved glegly
Kennin' thur mulkmaid wid seen fesh ease till ilk wame.
Fan on thur traivels, wee Mhairi's vyce they hard,
Sangin' a lullaby thit kept them douce an' gled;
Tam in the byre, o' Dunn's Dyrie,
Jyned ilka chorus as inbye the coos they led.

Verse 2.

Syne ..... wi' mulkin', baith gat gaen,
Greepin' a' the 'crummies' an' sairin ilka churn;
Mony oors-passed, afore they feenished,
An' baith cud tak thur weel-airned waakie doon the burn.
Aft on sich wanners, bauch Mhairi teuk Tam's airm,
Fusp'rin' sweet naithins Tam aye-kept her fair ameesed;
Aft tee he kissed her, lang bit saftly!
Oon-til frae her swarfin' howps o' mairrage seen wur heezed.

Verse 3.

Tam ... seen speer'd her, "Wull ye hiv me
Mhairi, bonnie lass as yer gudeman a' yer life?"
"Gledly, Tam lad... I'll shair wad ye,
An' fesh oor mulk-coos hame, excep syne fan yer wife.
Gif blessed wi' bairnies, thrang-in oor hoose I'll be,
Dooblin' yer wirk-oors bit wi' me tae mak yer tea!
Fesh-up the preacher .... tae the byre;
Tae-him we wull promise tae be pairtners till we dee."

Return to John's Poetry Page


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