Traditional Scottish Songs
- Tak' A Dram

Offering a guest a dram (a measure of spirits, usually whisky) before he leaves on his journey home and toasting "absent friends" (individually) is a well-followed tradition (at least before the age of the motor car). A Wee Deoch'n Doris from Sir Harry Lauder is perhaps the best known song associated with a parting drink, but this song by Ian Sinclair (from Caithness, where they need something to keep the cold out in winter) follows in the same tradition.

Tak' A Dram

Oh, this evening's passed so quickly,
And the music's almost done;
We've heard the piper and the fiddler,
The singer and his song.
The time has come for us to leave you;
One last song before we go;
So button up and aye be cheery
Tak a dram afore ye go.
Button up and aye be cheery,
Tak a dram afore ye go.

For this night we will remember,
And the music's been just fine;
But the cold, grey land of Caithness
Can be cruel and unkind.
We must bid fareweel and leave you;
Travel through the ice and snow;
So button up, etc.

So goodnight and God be with you .
And watch over you until
We can a' meet here thegither,
And our glasses we will refill.
We'll drink a health tae absent friends
And make the beer and whisky flow,
So button up, etc.

Meaning of unusual words:
dram=a measure of spirits

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

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