Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Auld Man tae the Oak Tree

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Auld Man tae the Oak Tree

Auld Man tae the Oak Tree

     1.
     Says the auld man
     Tae the oak tree,
     "Young and lusty was I
     When I kenned thee.

     "I was young an lusty,
     I was fair an clear,
     Young an lusty was I
     Mony a lang year.

     "But sair failed am I,
     Sair failed noo,
     Sair failed am I
     Sin I kenned you."

     2.
     Young and souple was I, when I lap the dyke;
     Now I'm auld and frail, I douna step a syke.
        Buy broom &c.

     Young and souple was I, when at Lautherslack,
     Now I'm auld and frail, and lie at Nansie's back.
        Buy broom &c.

     Had she gien me butter, when she gae me bread,
     I wad lookit baulder, wi' my beld head.
        Buy broom &c.
     ________________________________________________________

     (1) Montgomerie SNR (1946), 126 (no. 162), pretty much as
     in Ritson, Gammer Gurton's Garland ("Says t' auld man
     ti't oak tree," etc.). Bell RNB (1812) 257, has a
     slightly fuller version, thus:
I was young and lusty,
            I was fair and clear;

I was young and lusty,
            Many a long year.
                Sair fail'd hinny,
                   Sair fail'd now;
                Sair fail'd hinny,
                   Sin' I kend thou.
When I was young and lusty,
            I could loup a dyke;

But now at five and sixty,
            Cannot do the like.
                Sair fail'd hinny,
                  Sair fail'd now,
                Sair fail'd hinny,
                  Sin' I kend thou.
Then said the awd man
            To the oak tree;

Sair fail'd is 'e,
            Sin' I kend thee.
                Sair fail'd hinny,
                  Sair fail'd now;
                Sair fail'd hinny,
                  Sin' I kend thou.

     Sir Cuthbert Sharpe (Bishoprick Garland, 1834, slightly
edited--e.g. 3.3 Sair fail'd is I) says "This song is `far
north;' it is admitted in Bell's Northern Bards, and may very
possibly belong to the bishoprick, where it is well known."
Slightly fuller in Bruce and Stokoe (1882), 92, with music;
whence Whittaker (1940), 63.
     (2) Kinsley, Burns 913-14, no. 626 B; tune, "Buy Broom
     Besoms" (q.v.).  A traditional version collected by
     Burns. St. 1 comparable to Bruce & Stokoe's 2 (not
     counting chorus):

           When aw was young and lusty,
             Aw cud lowp a dyke;
           But now aw'm awd an' stiff,
             Aw can hardly step a syke.
MS
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