Traditional Scottish Songs
- Marriage and the Care O't

Robert Lochore (1762-1852), who wrote the song below, was born in Strathaven in Lanarkshire. He became a shoemaker in Glasgow but continued to write poetry and songs until nearly the end of his long life of 90 years. He was said to be "of a bouyant and humorous disposition" - as is evidenced by the song below.

Marriage and the Care O't

Quoth Rab to Kate: My sonsy dear,
   I've woo'd ye mair than half a-year,
An' if ye'd wed me, ne'er cou'd speer
   Wi' blateness, an' the care o't.
Now to the point: sincere I'm we't;
   Will ye be my half-marrow sweet?
Shake han's, and say a bargain be't,
   An' ne'er think on the care o't.

Na, na, quo' Kate, I winna wed,
   O' sic a snare I'll aye be rede;
How mony, thochtless, are misled
   By marriage, an' the care o't!
A single life's a life o' glee,
   A wife ne'er think to mak' o' me,
   Frae toil an' sorrow I'll keep free,
An' a' the dool an' care o't.

Weel, weel, said Robin, in reply,
   Ye ne'er again shall me deny,
Ye may a toothless maiden die,
   For me, I'll tak' nae care o't.
Fareweel, for ever! - aff I hie; -
   Sae took his leave without a sigh.
Oh! stop, quo' Kate, I'm yours, I'll try
   The married life, an' care o't.

Rab wheel't about, to Kate cam' back,
   An' gae her mou' a hearty smack,
Syne lengthen'd out a lovin' crack
   'Bout marriage, an' the care o't.
Though as she thocht she didna speak,
   An' lookit unco mim an' meek,
Yet blythe was she wi' Rab to cleek
   In marriage, wi' the care o't.

Meaning of unusual words:
sonsy = comely, good looking
speer = talk
blateness = shyness
half-marrow = spouse, mate
sic = such
aye be rede = always be ready
dool = sorrow, grief, misfortune
mou' = mouth
Syne = soon
crack = chat
unco mim an' meek = very demure and mild
cleek = walk arm in arm

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line