Traditional Scottish Songs
- My Auld Uncle Watty
Although the passage of time may have made "Auld Uncle Watty" larger than life, it certainly seems from this song by Archibald MacKay (1801-1883) that he was quite a character! The song is sung to the same rousing tune as "Bonnie Dundee."
As with all the songs in this section, there is a glossary of words with which you may be unfamiliar after the last verse.
My Auld Uncle WattyO! weel I ha'e mind o' my auld uncle Watty;
When but a bit callan I stood by his knee,
Or clamb the big chair, whar at e'enin' he sat aye,
He made us fu' blithe wi' his fun and his glee;
For O! he was knackie and couthie and crackie,
Baith humour and lair in his noddle had he -
The youths o' the clachan he'd keep a' a-laughin'
Wi' his queer observations and stories sae slee.
The last Hogmanay that we met in his cottie,
To talk owre the past, and the nappy to pree,
Some auld-farrant sangs, that were touchin' and witty,
He sung till the bairnies were dancin' wi glee.
And syne in the dance, like a youngster o' twenty,
He lap and he flang wi' auld Nannie Macfee;
In a' the blithe meeting nae ane was sae canty,
Sae jokin' sae gabby, sae furthy and free.
And O! had ye seen him that e'ening when Rory
Was kippled to Maggie o' Riccarton Mill;
Wi' joke and wi' story he kept up the glory
Till morning's faint glimmer was seen on the hill.
O! he was a body, when warmed with the toddy,
Whase wit to ilk bosom enchantment could gie;
For funnin' and daffin', and punnin' and laghin',
Throughout the hale parish nae equal had he.
But worn out at last wi' life's cares and its labours,
He bade an adieu to his frien's a' sae dear,
And sunk in death's sleep, sair bewailed by his neebours,
Wha yet speak his praise, and his mem'ry revere.
Whar slumbers the dust o' my auld auntie Matty,
We dug him a grave wi' the tear in our e'e
And there laid the banes o' my auld uncle Watty
To moulder in peace by the big aiken tree.
Meaning of unusual words:
knackie and couthie and crackie=entertaining and affable and talkative
Hogmanay=New Year's Eve
nappy to pree=strong ale to taste
toddy=glass of whisky
daffin'=waste of time in foolish talk
aiken tree=oak tree
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