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Lyr Req: Big Kilmarnock Bonnet

Ian 14 Jul 98 - 07:37 PM 15 Jul 98 - 03:36 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Jul 07 - 08:21 PM
Matthew Edwards 12 Jul 07 - 11:47 AM
GUEST 07 Mar 10 - 10:15 PM
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Subject: Big Kilmarnock Bonnet
From: Ian
Date: 14 Jul 98 - 07:37 PM

Looking for the words to the Scottish song Big Kilmarnock Bonnet

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Date: 15 Jul 98 - 03:36 AM

Here's the version I know:


It's only noo I've left the ploo, says I to fermer Broon,
"The money I hae earned wad ye kindly lay it doon,
For I'm awa' to Glesca toon, this verra day at the back o' noon,
I've been a gawkie lang enough in the country."

[CHORUS:] Wi' my big Kilmarnock bunnet, as I hurried to the train,
I'll ne'er forget the joke was played on me by Saundy Lane,
Says he, "When ye get to Glesca toon, spier oot for Katy Bain, my loon,
She lives in number Aichty Street in Glesca."

Noo when I got to Glesca toon, the first yin I did meet,
I asked him very kindly, wad he show me Aichty Street?
Says he, "Do ye tak me for a mug?" and then he gied me a skelp on the lug,
Says he, "My man, ye'll meet yer match in Glesca."

I met up wi a lassie then, dressed in a strippet frock.
She keekit up into my face, and said, "Hello there, Jock!
Yer big Kilmarnock's aff the plumb, come on and staund me a hauf o' rum,
Is this yer very firsten time in Glesca?"

Noo she introduced me to her friend; if thon was Katy Bain,
I only hope I never shall see or hear o' her like again;
She left me in my drawers and shirt, my big Kilmarnock smeared wi' dirt,
To wander through the muckle streets o' Glesca.

But that's no a' my story, for I;'ve mair to tell beside.
The nicht bein' dark and me bein' fou, I fell into the Clyde;
A polisman cam' and ran me in, he swore he saw me loupin' in,
And I was jiled for thirty days in Glesca.

[Got from a librarian in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, 1958.]
[There are slight variations in another text--e.g. "Aichty" [=80] is "Auchty." There is no such street in Glasgow. "Lives" is "bides," 3.4 has "Is this the very first time ye've been in Glesca?"]

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 21-May-02.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Jul 07 - 08:21 PM

Here's another version.

Lyrics and footnote copied from the web site of The Scots Independent (which, by the way, has lots of other Scots songs--Click here for the list).


Resolved that I wid leave the plough,
I said tae farmer Brown;
The money that I've worked for,
Be kind as put it down.   
In Glesca' toon at half-past three,
This very day I mean tae be ;
I've been ower lang a gawkie in the country.

CHORUS: For wi my big Kilmarnock bonnet,
When I ran tae catch the train;
I'll ne'er forget the mug that I
Was made by Sandy Lane.
He said, man Jock, when you arrive,
Just ask for Katie Bain
She stops in number eighteen street in Glesca'.

Noo, when I arrived in Glesca', freens.
The first chap I did meet;
I said, man, wid ye be as kind
As show me eighteen street.
Says he, d'ye think ye've got a mug,
Take that, an' struck me on the lug ;
An' said, my man ye"ll find yer match in Glesca'.

A bonnie lassie she cam' up,
Dressed in a stripped frock;
An' looked into my face an' said,
Hallo is that you Jock,
Ye're big Kilmarnock's aff the plumb,
Ye're gaun tae stand a glasso' rum;
Hoo lang dae ye intend tae bide in Glesca'.

The lass I treated an' asked the place,
She said she'd let me see ;
An' as for Kate Bane, she said,
She stops next door to me.
Says I, she kens ane Sandy Lane,
The lassie said, the very same !
Come on wi' me tae eighteen strest in Glesca'.

She introduced me tae her neebour,
But if she was Kate Bane ;
I only hope an' trust that I
Will ne'er see her again.
They left me wi my drawers an shirt,
My bonnet besmearred wi' dirt;
Tae wander through the muckle street o' Glesca.

But my sorrow wisna ended,
I had mair tae seek beside ;
The nicht being dark, an' me half drunk,
I tumbled in the Clyde.
They pulled me oot an' swore each yin,
They stood an' watched me jumping in,
An' got me thirty days in "quad" in Glesca

Footnote: One of the many songs from the 18th and 19th centuries warning young country workers of the dangers lurking in big cities! The Kilmarnock Bonnet of the title is a famous item of Scottish headwear, dating back at least to 1647, when the Kilmarnock Corporation of Bonnet Makers was founded. The song was widely circulated on popular broadsheets and was recorded by the King of the Cornkisters, Willie Kemp in 1936. He was a great favourite of my grandfather's and I first heard My Big Kilmarnock Bonnet on a wind-up gramophone. Happy days!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Kilmarnock Bonnet
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 12 Jul 07 - 11:47 AM

There's a good reproduction of a broadside of Big Kilmarnock Bonnet printed by the Poet's Box, Dundee around 1880-1890, together with a PDF facsimile, at the National Library of Scotland's online collection of broadside literature:- The Word on the Street.

The song is Roud Index no 5861, and there are 4 examples given in the Greig-Duncan collection, but most people know it from Willie Kemp and Curly MacKay's 1936 Beltona recording. This is included in the Topic Voice of the People 20 CD collection as Track 21 on Volume 5 Come all my lads that follow the plough TSCD 655.

Beltona have reissued some pre-war recordings made by Willie Kemp and Curly MacKay on CD as A Gie Bicker YCD02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Kilmarnock Bonnet
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 10:15 PM

wi ma big kilmarnoc bunnet as i ran to catch the train,
ill never forget the trick thas was plate on me bo sandy lane,
said he man jock when you get to toon speer yea for kitty bane ma loon
she bides at number achty street in gleasga

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