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Origins: A wee drappie o't

Jim McLean 18 Jan 10 - 10:03 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 18 Jan 10 - 12:47 PM
Jim McLean 18 Jan 10 - 01:47 PM
Young Buchan 18 Jan 10 - 02:33 PM
Jim McLean 18 Jan 10 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Auldtimer 19 Jan 10 - 11:35 AM
Jim McLean 19 Jan 10 - 01:18 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Jan 10 - 03:07 PM
Jim McLean 19 Jan 10 - 05:11 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Jan 10 - 05:16 PM
Jim McLean 20 Jan 10 - 01:36 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 10 - 03:03 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 10 - 03:43 PM
Jim McLean 21 Jan 10 - 06:26 AM
Jim McLean 21 Jan 10 - 06:30 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jan 10 - 08:00 AM
Jim McLean 21 Jan 10 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,EKanne 21 Jan 10 - 11:15 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Jan 10 - 09:22 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 10 - 04:09 AM
Gallus Moll 24 Jan 10 - 04:47 AM
Jim McLean 24 Jan 10 - 05:05 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Jan 10 - 07:19 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 10 - 09:05 AM
Jim McLean 24 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM
Gallus Moll 24 Jan 10 - 03:11 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 10 - 08:16 PM
Effsee 24 Jan 10 - 11:38 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Feb 10 - 10:17 AM
Jim McLean 09 Feb 10 - 10:40 AM
Jim Dixon 09 Feb 10 - 12:48 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Feb 10 - 01:03 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Feb 10 - 01:15 PM
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Subject: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 10:03 AM

This is attributed to Robert Tannahill but I can't find it in any of his printed works. Can anyone help as to where it is printed? I know McColl recorded it but I have searched all my editions of Tannahill's songs and poems but to no avail. I doesn't sound like Tannahill to me, more late in the 19th Century, and a bit music hall.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 12:47 PM

Jim - I see that neither Ford nor Ord give Tannahill as author, though McColl's sleeve notes do (as, apparently, do several other sets).

I don't know if you know of this page: Complete Tannahill. Despite it's title, it's not complete yet, though it intends to be. The songs from the 1825 Glasgow edition are all there and don't include it, but there are more songs to come. On a quick look through, it didn't appear to be in the 1900 The Soldier's Return either.

So the site is not much help yet, but there is a contact for Dr.Steve Sweeney-Turner (who is managing and hosting the project) on the about page and it might be worth emailing him to see if he can help you.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 01:47 PM

Thanks, Mick. I have all the editions of Tannahill and searched thoroughly. I think Ford in his first series was the first to print it but no credits. Greig in the Scots Minstrelsy lists it as being in Vol. 6 but although the title is in the index, there is no page number as it isn't printed! Quite bizarre. I don't think it is a Tannahill song as I have found creditation mistakes in the past made by scholars like McColl, Hamish Henderson and Dr Fred Freeman. The latter produced a series of CDs of Tannahill's songs and made a tremendous error which he has refused to acknowledge. I remember seeing the song in print somewhere and am searching through my library. I have talked to Dr.Sweeney-Turner in the past as I did a dissertation on songs of Tannahill so I'll try him again.


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Subject: ADD: Piper MacNeil
From: Young Buchan
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 02:33 PM

Is this the one you're talking about?
If so it might be worth searching under the title Piper McNeil, which is what Willie Scott used to call it.
Sorry. I don't have time to do it myself at the moment.

PIPER MacNEIL

Ye'll a' hae heard o' Piper MacNeil
A canty chap and a coothie chiel,
And a' my days Ah lo'ed him weel
For he dearly lo'ed the whisky-o.
Chorus
The whisky's guid, aye the whisky's grand,
A wee drappie o't'll dae ye nae harm,
An' Ah only wish that in my airms
Ah had a great big barrel o'Hielan whisky-o.

When Ah cam staggerin' hame ae nicht
As fou as ony man could be,
Ah struck a post an' doon Ah fell
Jist wi' a wee drappie whisky-o.

When Ah cam staggerin' up tae the door
Ma mither rase an' she slipped the bar,
But when she saw ma claes a' glar
She said 'Curse tae the Hielan whisky-o'.

Now mither ye needna angry be
And intae a passion, dinna flee,
For aye until the day Ah dee
Ah'll aye tak a wee drappie whisky-o


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 02:57 PM

Sorry, Young Buchan, it's not that, but thanks for your interest.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 11:35 AM

From a German Site from the net. Including Tannahill attribute.

Robert Tannahill, 1774-1810

This life is a journey we a' hae to gang,
And care is the burden we carry alang,
Though heavy be oor burden and poverty oor lot,
We'll be happy a' thegither owre a wee drappie o't.

Refrain:
Owre a wee drappie o't,
owre a wee drappie o't,
We'll be happy a' thegither
Owre a wee drappie o't.

The trees are a' stripped o' their mantles sae green,
The leaves o' the forest nae langer are seen,
For winter is here wi' its cauld icy coat,
But we're a' met thegither owre a wee drappie o't.

Job in his lamentations said man was made to mourn,
There's nae such thing as pleasure from the cradle to the urn.
But in his meditations he surely had forgot
The pleasure man enjoys owre a wee drappie o't.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 01:18 PM

I'v just scoured, painstakingly, footnotes and all correspondence in the David Semple edition of 1875 which is the most up to date collection of Tannaill's peoms and songs with verses printed for the first time and A Wee Drappie O't is not there.
I think someone, propable McColl when he recorded the song, gave the incorrect source and people have just copied.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 03:07 PM

There's a little snippet I can see at Google books from Folk Music Vol1, 1963, which appears to print the song with the attribution "Generally attributed to the Paisley weaver, Robert Tannahill, so perhaps there is no absolute evidence that this is so. However, you'd expect that somewhere that claim would be made (prior to MacColl).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 05:11 PM

I looked up my copy of 'Folk Songs and Ballads of Scotland' edited by MacColl and he said he got the song from his father William Miller. The credit on the page states 'This is the work of Robert Tannahill (1774-1810), the cotton-weaver bard of Paisley'. I think it is quite significant that this credit, to a word, is found on various websites. Your book, Mike, is fairly new and could easily have been influenced by MacColl's credit.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 05:16 PM

I'd agree with that, barring any new evidence. (The same thing struck me on the various CD credits I came across after MacColl's).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 01:36 PM

I see there are three versions in the Greig-Duncan collection of Folksongs from the North East of Scotland (early 1900s), vol. 3. I only have vols 4 and 8 but I intend going to the British Library on Friday and check it out. The line ... we'll be happy a' thegither .... is reminiscent of the Work of the Weavers


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 03:03 PM

A bit convoluted, but here goes.
The Greig-Duncan note says that the author is unknown, but the version in Ford's Vagabond Songs, (Vol 1 1899) gives the following note.
"It has been said by a great critic on songs that love and wine are the exclusive themes of song-writing. In Scotland certainly love has commanded something like a monopoly of poetic attention. Our best songs are our love songs. Yet we possess a few lyrics of a purely social kind, including " Auld Lang Syne," and "Willie Brewed a Peck o' Maut," which are, in their order, of the first class. Not less successful is the present contribution to the social programme, by an unknown hand, which happily is better described as a temperance than as a bacchanalian song. It is sung to the air of another good song of the same class—" Sae will we yet."."

There is a handwritten note to the last mentioned song which says "By the same author." Another handwritten note to 'Drappie' says 'A very poor version'.
The original owner of 'Vagabond Songs' signed himself 'Will Walker' on the flyleaf.

I have no way of verifying the accuracy of the information but 'Sae Will We Yet' was written by Walter Watson - details below.

WALTER WATSON was at one time well known and held in high esteem in the Chryston, Cadder, Kirkintilloch, and Campsie districts. Unfortunately his works are now almost unknown in these places, and this book has been written to prevent the better known poems and songs passing entirely into oblivion.
The first edition of Watson's poems was published in 1808 ; the last under his own supervision in 1853. Since his death a volume containing all his works, with the exception of one or two which are known, in various forms, by a few old people of this district, was published in 1877 shortly after the obelisk of granite was raised in Chryston to the memory of the poet. The selection is taken from the editions of 1808, 1853, and 1877, but a few manuscripts have been placed at my disposal by a gentleman of Lenzie, and some of the poems and parts of the biographical information have been taken from that source. I take this opportunity of returning thanks to Mr. James Henderson for the loan of the photograph from which the frontispiece is taken, and to Mr. James Anderson for help in compiling the biographical sketch.

H. H. A.
Chryston. 1912


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 03:43 PM

PS I should have said that both volumes of my edition of 'Vagabond Songs' are full of hand written notes by Will Walker referring to other song collections, indicating that he was knowledgeable on the subject.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 06:26 AM

Jim, thanks for that. Mick Pearce kindly supplied me with scans from Greig-Duncan collection and I went back to John Greig's Scots Minstrelsie (1893 so pre-Ford's Vagabond) which listed a Wee Drappie o't but no page number. Volume 6 prints "Sae Will We Yet" and the notes are as follows:

In a concert program "Say Will We Yet" is a song to conjure with. It was one of the battle horses of that great Scottish vocalist the late Mr David Kennedy; it is sure of "bringing the house down" when Mr James Lumsden "buckles into it" while Mr Robert Kennedy, the successor of his father, has again brought it to the front. The air is a variation of the characteristic Irish melody "The Wearin' o' the Green" and is confined to the pentatonic scale. "Laugh and be Thankfu," of which "Sae Will We Yet" is a refined version, was published in Whistle Binkie" (1832-1853). To the same air may be also sung that favourite convivial effusion entitled "A Wee Drappie O't" which we here append: ....

I think it's fairly safe to say that "A Wee Drappie O't" was not written by Tannahill as John Greig prints many Tannahill songs in his volumes and I'm sure he would have listed the author of "A Wee Drappie O't" if he knew.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 06:30 AM

How about this! Nothing new? Say Will Ye Yet


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 08:00 AM

Thanks for that Jim.
Should say that in my edition of 'Vagabond Songs' the annotations are hand written in pencil - I have become interested in the annotator Will Walker - his notes appear to be extremely knowledgeable.
Bit of a thread drift; is Kirkintilloch still 'The Dry Toon'?
I spent my 21st birthday there and was told the story of the riot which gave it its nickname and its TT status
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 10:47 AM

Jim, Kirkintilloch was dry until about the 70s when the Glasgow overspill lads voted the 'dryness' out.
As far as "A Wee Drappie O't" is concerned, I have articles about Walter Watson (Poets and Poetry of Scotland) and also his complete (not quite) works published just after he died, with the foreword by Hugh MacDonald, his friend and fellow poet. There is no doubt Watson wrote "Say will we yet" but his collection doesn't include "AWDO't". I found only one creditation for both songs by Watson: The book of Scotsmen eminent for achievements in arms and arts, church and ... By Joseph Irving, 1881:   (Grateful thanks to Mick Pearce(MCP).
I'm convinced that Watson did write both songs as "AWDO't" is in a very similar style. There is also many references where it should be sung to the same tune as "Say will we yet". Any further evidence would be most welcome.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: GUEST,EKanne
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 11:15 AM

Jim, your William Walker annotated copy has been niggling away at me. Is there any indication in said volume of an Aberdeenshire address?
The reason I ask is because there is a William Walker mentioned as a source in "Last Leaves etc" ed. by A Keith and biographical notes say "Author of 'Bards of Bonaccord', 'Peter Buchan' and many other works. Compiled List of Sources of Music for Child's 'Ballads', to which he also contributed texts and airs."


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 09:22 AM

EKanne;
Sorry - didn't see this until I started to look for something else.
There is no more information on Will Walker on the flyleaf, but I have been intending to copy out the notes for some time - they appear to be well worth it.
If anything else comes up, I'll pass it on.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 04:09 AM

EKanne;
Had a closer look at the annotations and am convinced that the Will Walker who originally owned my set of 'Vagabond Songs' was the editor of 'Last Leaves'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't - Will Walker
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 04:47 AM

I too am interested in finding out more abut Will Walker; I have a 1769 copy of 'Herd's Collection of Scots Song' which has Will Walker's name written inside, some annotated notes, certain songs ticked off (I do the same myself!) and some damaged pages which have been repaired using (binders' tissue?) with the lost song-words neatly handwritten in! I understand that the William Walker who contributed to the Greig-Duncan collection was a publisher - is there somewhere can we compare the handwriting?


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 05:05 AM

There's a pointer to william Walker in this article: William Walker
History of Scottish Literature, Volume 4 , AUP, 1987, Chapter Two


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 07:19 AM

For handwriting, you can see a letter by Walker (1918) here Walker to Anderson - UAbdn.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 09:05 AM

Thanks for that Mick - it is the same handwriting.
I have been fascinated with personal annotations by the owners of books since we started our collection back in the sixties (when it was possible to buy them without having to re-morgage your house)!!!
I find, on a quick look, that we also have a set of Maidment with Walker's annotations, and Dauney's Ancient Scotish Melodies, sent to Robert Chambers and then sent on to his brother William with a written dedication by Chambers.
My personal favourite is a copy of Borrow's Romano Lavo-Lil (Word Book of the Romany or English Gypsy Language), where a previous owner had re-translated some of the author's extremely flowery translations into everyday English (along with critical notes) and had visited and revisited a London Travellers site over a number of years where Borrow carried out some of his research.
The question of what happens to researchers' books and Ms. collections after their death has intrigued me since hearing the story of some of A.L.Lloyd's books turning up in the 10p bargain box of a second-hand paperback bookshop after they had been donated to a college.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM

I had a very early set of Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, each volume signed by Alfred Moffat. I pawned them with a famous Scottish folk singer (who is now 'enobled') but he refused to give me them back. This was a long time ago and, in hindsight, I should have gone to the police as I had proof of purchase and our pawning agreement was by word of mouth. I am reminded of a statement by Walter Scott '.... none of my friends are mathematicians but some are very good book keepers'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 03:11 PM

Thanks for the info Mick and Jim about Will Walker - it looks like the same writing!
Re. Jim Carroll's comment about collectors' manuscripts etc - I have often wondered - and worried - about my own folk book collection, and what should eventually happen to it (a long time hence I hope)
The Elphinstone Institute has been suggested as a possible home - any other thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 08:16 PM

Moll,
We have a large collection of books and recordings which we have willed to the Irish Traditional Music Archive - but I have to say I am beginning to consider other sources as they already have copies of most of the books; and we are in the process of digitising and passing on copies of the recordings.
Recently we have been part of the setting up of a local archive here in the West of Ireland which, thanks to the 'Celtic Tiger' has had some considerable success.
Depositing any collection anywhere were they could help set up archives and organisations outside the main centres (London, Edinburgh, Dublin) is worth considering, or even leaving them to a national archive with the proviso that duplicates are used to assist the setting up of local groups.
Then again - there's always Oxfam!!!!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Effsee
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 11:38 PM

Apropos of nothing to do with subject of this thread, how the hell did this end up in NY?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/south_of_scotland/8475727.stm


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Subject: Lyr Add: A WEE DRAPPIE O'T (Henry Scott?, 1828)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 10:17 AM

Here's a different poem with the same title as the more familiar one. It is quoted in a review of a book of poetry. The name Henry Scott appears at the top of the column, but it's not clear to me whether that's the name of the poet or the reviewer.

From The Kaleidoscope: or, Literary and Scientific Mirror, Volume 5 (Liverpool: E. Smith and Co., 1828), page 103:


A WEE DRAPPIE O'T

Now the sweetness of summer is faded and past.
Gray winter stalks lone in the roar o' the blast;
But sae happy here we'll be in our low hamely cot,
And rejoice 'neath the storm o'er a wee drappie o't.

Away thou dark demon o' sorrow and care!
Flee far wi' thy gaunt train o' howling despair,
For should you dare come here we'll plunge you in the pot,
And rejoice o'er your fa' wi a wee drappie o't.

Then we'll pledge to the land of the free and the brave,
The wild land o' heather, the rock, and the wave;
And rejoice in that freedom for which our fathers fought.
And sae "here's to their shades" wi' a wee drappie o't.

To the cheerers o' life we'll empty this bowl.
We'll pledge them wi' heart, wi' hand, and wi' soul;
For how cheerless wad the gloom be—how hard wad he our lot,
An' it werena for the dearies, and a wee drappie o't.

Few, few and short are the joys that we know.
Thro' thi dark dreary struggle of sorrow and woe;
But still some heavenly gleam illumes the lowly cot.
Oh! there's friendship, there's love, and a wee drappie o't.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim McLean
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 10:40 AM

Jim Dixon, Mick Pearce sent me this a few weeks ago:

Here's another A Wee Drappie O't. I came across this a few times in my searching. It's by a poet called Henry Scott, from an 1828 collection I think (the version here is from The Oriental Herald 1829. A search of google books will bring it up a few times.


Henry Scott did write it I'm assured 'though it's not what I was looking for. The phrase 'A Wee Drappie O't' occurs in many different poems and songs.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A WEE DRAPPIE O'T (Henry Scott, 1829)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 12:48 PM

Indeed, this looks like a revised and improved version of the poem I posted above.

From The Oriental Herald, Volume 20 (London: 1829), page 302:

Song.—A WEE DRAPPIE O'T.
By Henry Scott, a young Scottish poet.
Air—'O sair was my heart when I parted wi' my Jean.'

Now the sweetness o' Simmer is faded and past,
And grim Winter whistles wild in the war o' the blast;
Yet sae happy here's we'll be in our low hamely cot,
And rejoice 'neath the storm o'er a wee drappie o't.

Should Misfortune's grim visage ever stare at your door,
Oh, be patient, for soon soon this warld's faught is o'er;
And we'll struggle wi' its cares, aye contented wi' our lot,
And rejoice 'neath life's storms o'er a wee drappie o't.

Awa! thou dark demon o' sorrow and care,
Flee far wi' your gaunt train o' howling despair;
For gin you daur come here we will plunge ye in the pot,
And rejoice o'er your fa' wi' a wee drappie o't.

Then let's pledge to the land o' the free and the brave,
The wild land o' heather o' the rock and the wave,
Let us pledge the cause o' freedom for which our fathers fought!—
So here's to their mem'ry wi' a wee drappie o't.

To the cheerers o' life next we'll empty the bowl—
Oh, we'll pledge them wi' heart. and wi' hand, and wi' soul,
For how dismal would the gloom be, how hard wad be our lot,
An' it warna for the dearies and a wee drappie o't!

Oh, few, few and short are the joys that we know
Thro' this dark dreary pilgrimage o' sorrow and woe;
Yet there's still some sunny gleams to illume the lonely cot—
Oh, there's friendship, there's love, and a wee drappie o't!


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Subject: Lyr Add: A WEE DRAPPIE O'T (Canada, 1873)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 01:03 PM

Here's a Canadian song.

From Poems and Songs: in Scotch and English by Alexander Hamilton Wingfield (Hamilton, Ont.: The "Times" Book and Job Office, 1873), page 225:


A WEE DRAPPIE O'T

While we sit here to-night we'll be merry and free,
And as Time passes by still contented we'll be;
Let the cares of this world for the present be forgot,
While we're a' met together o'er a wee drappie o't.

Chorus—A wee drappie o't, &c.

In our journey through life we must all play our parts,
Then let Love, Truth and Friendship remain in our hearts;
Let us kindly help each other for to bear our chequered lot,
And at times, when we are happy, hae a wee drappie o't.

Chorus—A wee drappie o't, &c.

Success then to Canada, and honor'd may she be,
May her fame be extended by land and by sea;
May her commerce thrive and flourish till it's found in ilka spot;
May we aye hae peace and plenty, and a wee drappie o't.

Chorus—A wee drappie o't, &c.

A bumper to Hamilton, we'll pledge her to-night,
May her sons still "Advance" in the cause of Truth and Right;
Here's to a' her bonnie lassies, and may heaven bless their lot,
And send them a' guid husbands, and a wee drappie o't.

Chorus—A wee drappie o't, &c.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A wee drappie o't
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 01:15 PM

From The Book of Scotsmen Eminent for Achievements in Arms and Arts, Church and State,... by Joseph Irving (Paisley: Alexander Gardner, 1881), page 542:

Mar. 29, 1780
WATSON, Walter, Weaver, and minor poet. Born in Chryston, Lanarkshire, in very humble circumstances, and received but a limited education, being sent out to herd when only eight years old; tried weaving, enlisted in the Scots Greys, and on being discharged after the peace of Amiens, 1802, returned to his native village with some reputation as a song writer, based on pieces still so popular as "Maggie and me," "Sae will we yet," and "A wee drappie o't;" published small collections of his pieces 1808, 1823, and 1843. Died at Dantiblae, Kirkintilloch, aged 74. (See poems with prefatory memoir by Hugh Macdonald, 1853.)


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