Traditional Scottish Songs
- Jamie the Laird

As a song writer, Carolina Oliphant (also known as Lady Nairne after marriage but also as the "Flower of Strathearn" because of her beauty) is second only to Robert Burns. She was named after the Young Pretender (Carolina being the feminine form of Charles), so it is not perhaps surprising that many of her songs were sympathetic to the Jacobite cause. In amongst all the patriotic and Jacobite songs, is this one, which shows an unusual touch of humour.

      Jamie the Laird

Send a horse to the water, ye'll no mak him drink,
Send a fule to the college, ye'll no mak him think;
Send a craw to the singin', an' still he will craw,
An' the wee laird had nae rummulgumshion ava.
Yet is he the pride o' his fond mother's e'e,
In body or mind, nae fau't can she see;
"He's a fell clever lad, an' a bonny wee man,"
Is aye the beginnin' an' end o' her sang.

An' oh! she's a haverin' lucky, I trow,
An' oh! she 's a haverin' lucky, I trow;
"He's a fell clever lad, an' a bonny wee man,"
Is aye the beginnin' an' end o' her sang.

His legs they are bow'd, his een they do glee,
His wig, whiles it's aff, and when on, it's ajee;
He's braid as he's lang, an' ill-faur'd is he,
A dafter-like body I never did see.
An' yet for this cratur' she says I am deein',
When that I deny, she's fear'd at my leein';
Obliged to put up wi' this sair defamation,
I'm liken to dee wi' grief an' vexation.


An' her clishmaclavers gang a' through the toun,
An' the wee lairdie trows I'll hang or I'll droun.
Wi' his gawky-like face, yestreen he did say,
"I'll maybe tak you, for Bess I'll no hae,
Nor Mattie, nor Effie, nor lang-legged Jeanie,
Nor Nelly, nor Katie, nor skirlin' wee Beenie."
I stappit my ears, ran aff in a fury -
I'm thinkin' to bring them afore judge an' jury.


Freen's! gi'e your advice! - I'll follow your counsel -
Maun I speak to the Provost, or honest Toun Council,
Or the writers, or lawyers, or doctors? now say,
For the law on the lucky I shall an' will hae.
The hale toun at me are jibin' and jeerin',
For a leddy like me it's really past bearin';
The lucky maun now hae dune wi' her claverin',
For I'll no put up wi' her nor her haverin'.
For oh! she's a randy, I trow, I trow,
For oh! she's a randy, I trow, I trow;
"He's a fell clever lad, an' a bonny wee man,"
Is aye the beginnin' an' end o' her sang.

Meaning of unusual words:
laird = landowner
rummulgumshion ava = common sense at all
haverin' lucky = old woman who talks foolishly
trow = feel sure, trust
glee = squint
ajee = crooked
ill-faur'd = ill favoured
clishmaclavers = idle talk, gossip
gawky-like = foolish
skirlin' = shrill, shrieking
stappit = stuffed
Maun = must
jibin' = chattering, talking nonsense
claverin' = gossiping
haverin' = foolish talk

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