Traditional Scottish Songs
- Our Auld Scots Sangs
This song by Archibald MacKay (1801-1883) is sung to the tune Traveller's Return. Mackay was born in Kilmarnock and became an apprentice handloom weaver. He subsequently became a book binder and his poetry established him locally as a writer. In addition to verse, he wrote a "History of Kilmarnock". His best songs were published in 1855 under the title "Ingleside Lilts". In addition to contributing to local journals, MacKay established a circulating library for the townsfolk of Kilmarnock.
Our Auld Scots SangsOh, weel I lo'e our auld Scots sangs,
The mournfu' and the gay;
They charm'd me by a mither's knee,
In bairnhood's happy day:
And even yet, though owre my pow
The snaws of age are flung,
The bluid loups joyfu' in ray veins
Whene'er I hear them sung.
They bring the fond smile to the cheek,
Or tear-drap to the ee;
They bring to mind auld cronies kind,
Wha sung them aft wi' glee.
We seem again to hear the voice
Of mony a lang-lost frien';
We seem again to grip the hand
That lang in dust has been.
And, oh, how true our auld Scots sangs
When nature they portray!
We think we hear the wee bit burn
Gaun bickering doun the brae;
We see the spot, though far awa',
Where first life's breath we drew,
And a' the gowden scenes 'of youth
Seem rising to the view.
And dear I lo'e the wild war strains
Our langsyne minstrels sung-
They rouse wi' patriotic fires
The hearts of auld and young;
And even the dowie dirge that wails
Some brave but ruin'd band,
Inspires us wi' a warmer love
For hame and fatherland.
Yes, leese me on our auld Scots sangs-
The sangs of love and glee,
The sangs that tell of glorious deeds
That made auld Scotland free.
What though they sprung frae simple bards,
Wha kent nae rules of art?
They ever, ever yield a charm
That lingers round the heart.
Meaning of unusual words:
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