NO CHURCHMAN AM I
No Churchman am I for to rail and to write,
No Statesman nor Soldier to plot or to fight,
No sly Man of business contriving a snare,
For a big-belly'd bottle's the whole of my care.
The Peer I don't envy, I give him his bow;
I scorn not the Peasant, tho' ever so low;
But a club of good fellows, like those that are here,
And a bottle like this, are my glory and care.
Here passes the Squire on his brother-his horse;
There Centum per Centum, the Cit with his purse;
But see you the Crown how it waves in the air,
There a big-belly'd bottle still eases my care.
The wife of my bosom, alas! she did die;
For sweet consolation to church I did fly;
I found that old Solomon proved it fair,
That a big-belly'd bottle's a cure for all care.
I once was persuaded a venture to make;
A letter inform'd me that all was to wreck;
But the pursy old landlord just waddl'd up stairs
With a glorious bottle that ended my cares.
Life's cares they are comforts, a maxim laid down
By the Bard, what d'ye call him, that wore the black gown;
And faith I agree with the old prig to a hair;
For a big-belly'd bottle's a heaven o care.
A Stanza added in a Masonic Lodge:
Then fill up a bumper and make it o'erflow,
And honours masonic prepare for to throw;
May every true brother of th' compass and square
Have a big belly'd bottle when harassd with care.
In III, the crown refers to a tavern sign in Mauchline, sporting the motto
of Sir J Whiteford's arms, "D'en Haut".
In VI, opening quote from Young's Night Thoughts.
Tune: Prepare, my dear brethern, to the tavern let's fly (27)
Popup Midi Player
No Churchman Am I [Robert Burns] (The tune is Prepare, my dear Brethren, to the tavern let's fly; midi made from notation in James Kinsley, Burns: Poems and Songs (OUP, 1969). In the fourth line of the first stanza, "business" is given one syllable only.)