Traditional Scottish Songs
- The Lum Hat Wantin' The Croon

This was written by David Rorie MD, towards the end of the 19th century. The author wrote about the poem as follows:
"For this book of collected verse I have chosen the title ­ ‘The Lum Hat wantin’ the Croon.’ Why? Well, I wrote the song one fine summer night nearly forty-five years ago in an English manufacturing town, where the mere thought of a highland burn in spate was as an ice-cold draught in a parched land. For the singing of it a tune had to be composed ­ if the word can rightly be used by a man who does not know a note of music ­ and the finished product was duly ‘tried out’ on some of my fellow-countrymen. Later it was published. It was sung in Ladysmith during the siege, and amongst Scots troops in the Great War; I have heard it in convivial journalistic ‘howffs’ in Fleet Street; in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the South Sea islands. From all these places, and many more, I have had letters to tell me the writers had either sung it or heard it sung. It can be got on gramophone records; it is included in The British Students’ Song Book; and it turns up on the BBC programmes."

The Lum Hat Wantin' The Croon

The burn was big wi' spate
And there cam tumblein' doon,
Topsalterie, the half of a gate
An auld fish-hake, and a great muckle skate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon

The auld wife stood on th' bank,
As they gied swirlin' roon,
She took a guid look, and syne says she,
"There's food and there's firin' gaen tae th' sea,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!"

So she gruppit th' branch of a saugh,
And she kickit off ane of her shoon,
An' she stuck oot her fit, but it caught in the gate,
An' awa' she went wi' th' great muckle skate,
An' a lum hat wantin' th' croon!

She floated fu' many a mile,
Past cottage and village and toon,
She'd an awfu' time astride of the gate,
Though it seemed t'gree fine wi' th' great muckle skate,
And the lum hat wantin' th' croon!

A fisher was waukin' th' deck,
By the licht of his pipe and th' moon,
When he sees an auld body astride of a gate,
Come bobbin' along in the waves wi' a skate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!

"There's a man overboard!" cries he,
"Ye hear?" quo she, "I'll droon!
A man overboard? It's a wife on a gate!
It's auld Mistress Mackintosh here wi' a skate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!

Was she nippit tae death at th' Pole?
Has India bakit her broon?
I canna tell that, but whatever her fate,
I'll wager ye'll find t'was shared by a gate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!

There's a moral attached tae my song:
On greed ye should aye gie a froon!
When ye think of the wife that was lost for a gate,
An auld fish hake and a great muckle skate,
And a lum hat wantin' th' croon!

Meaning of unusual words:
fish-hake=fish fork
lum hat=top hat
skate= flat fish
gree=be in harmony

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