Traditional Scottish Songs
- The Wag at the Wa'

A "Wag at the Wa'" is a clock which hangs on a wall with a pendulum hanging free beneath it. When having a convivial evening with friends, such a clock is an excellent reminder of the passage of time - and of a wife who will be watching a similar clock back home....

The Wag at the Wa'

I've been hae'in a sociable nicht
   W' my cronies a sociable crew,
Oh I've had a drink twa more or less,
   And I begin tae suspect that I'm fou!
I'm no very sure where I am,
   I'm raither the waur o' the drappie,
It's a quarter tae twa, the last bus is awa',
   What does't matter as lang as I'm happy?

She's watchin the wag at the wa',
   Cronies, I'll hae tae be leavin',
My conscience, a quarter tae twa,
   And I said I'd be hame at eleeven;
So cronies guid-nicht tae ye aa,
   Losh, but I'm sweir tae gae 'wa,
But Mistress McCann's waitin up for her man
   And she's watchin the wag at the wa'.

When I meet wi' they cronies o' mine,
   And we've had a drammie or twa,
When the time comes tae pairt, man it gangs tae my hairt,
   It's a thocht tae gang hame through the snaw;
When a pal puts his airm roond my neck,
   And implores me tae bide a while langer,
If he prigs wi me sair, 'It's the wife', I declare,
   'I wid stop but for fear o' her anger.'


Meaning of unusual words:
wag at the wa'=a wall clock with a pendulum beneath
sweir tae gae 'wa=unwilling to go away
drammie or twa=drink or two of alcohol
prigs wi me sair=pleads with me vehemently

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