Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Guid New Year

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Guid New Year

Guid New Year

     1.
     The guide new year it is begun,
        B' soothan, b' soothan.
     The beggars they're begun to run,
        An awa b' mony a toon.
     Rise up, gueede wife, an dinna be sweer,
        B' soothan, b' soothan,
     An deal yir chirity t' the peer,
        An awa b' mony a toon.
     May your bairnies n'er be peer,
        B' soothan, b' soothan,
     Nor yet yir coo misgae the steer,
        An awa b' mony a toon.
     It's nae for oorsels it we come here,
        B' soothan, b' soothan,
     It's for . . . . . . sae scant o' gear,
        An awa b' mony a toon.
     We sing for meal, we sing for maut,
        B' soothan, b' soothan,
     We sing for cheese an a'thing fat,
        An awa b' mony a toon.
     Fess naither cog nor yet the mutty,
        B' soothan, b' soothan,
     Bit fess the peck fou' lairge and lucky,
        An awa b' mony a toon.
     The roads are slippery, we canna rin,
        B' soothan, b' soothan,
     We maun myne oor feet for fear we fa',
   An rin b' mony a toon.

     2.
     Ye gae but to your beef stan',
     Ye cut a collop baith lairge and lang,
     And see that ye dinna cut your han',
       And aye Besuthan toonie;
     By Bairnsdale and Coventry,
       And awa' by Rillanatoonie.

     3.
     Here begins a gweed new year,
       Be soothin, be soothin,
     An' joy an' peace an' a' be here,
       An' awa' by Lunnon toonie.

     By Baernisdell and Coventree,
       Be soothin, be soothin,
     An' up an' doon the hail countree,
       An' awa' by Lunnon toonie.

     Rise up, goodwife, an' binna sweer,
       Be soothin, be soothin,
     An' gie's a dram to grace the year,
       An' awa' by Lunnon toonie.

     4.
     Here comes in a guid new year,
     A guid new year, a guid new year,
     Here comes in a guid new year,
     An' awa' b' soothin' toon.

     The back o' yer hous is thackit wi' rye,
     Thackit wi rye, thackit wi' rye,
     The back o' yer hous is thackit wi' rye,
     An' awa' b' soothin' toon.

     Rise up, goodwife, an' shak' yer feathers,
     Dinna think that we are beggars,
     For we are bairnies come to play,
     Rise up an' gie's oor hogmanay.

     Up stocks, doun steils,
     Dinna thin that we're feils,
     For we're but bairnies come to play,
     Rise up an' gie's oor hogmanay.

     My feet's caul, my sheen's thin,
     Gie's a piece an' lat's rin,
     For we're but bairnies come to play,
     Rise up an' gie's oor hogmanay.

     5.
     The auld year's oot an' the new year's in--
        Be soothin', be soothin';
The beggars are noo begun to gang,
        An' we'll a' be soothin' toon.

     Rise up, guidwife, an' binna' sweer--
        Be soothin', be soothin',
     An' deal your charity to the peer,
        An' we'll a' be soothin' toon.
     ________________________________________________________

     (1) Gregor (1881), 161. He explains:

     Very often on New Year's Day companies of young men in
     twos, threes, and fours set out shortly after breakfast
     to `thigg' for an old woman, or an old man, or an aged
     couple, or an invalid that might be in narrow
     circumstances.  Carrying a sack to receive the alms of
     meal and a small bag for the money, they travelled over
     a good many miles of the district of the country in
     which they lived, getting a `bossiefu' of meal from this
     guidewife and a contribution of money from this other
     one. [After the song:] Then came the question: `Are ye
     gueede for beggars?' `Sometimes,' was the answer,
     followed by the question, `Fah are ye beggin for?'  `For
     so-and-so.'  The alms was then given, and then came the
     words of thanks, which were often improvised in a kind
     of doggrel.

Cf. "Rise up, gudewife", some of whose lines occur above.
B' soothan here = "by the south".  SND refers to a Banff 1858
source (National Mag. III.198): Ower to the minister's
hoose,/ And awa' by Soothin toon. - Another version of this??
[SND: misgae the steer = "fail to conceive by the bull"; cog
= dish made of wooden staves bound with hoops; mutty =
measure of grain, one fourth of a haddish or half a stone, or
(as here) a vessel of this measure.]
     (2) Greig FSNE clxi.2, a rhyme "sung by a man who came
     through Rosehearty begging when [the informant's]
     grandmother was a girl, circ. 1775"; after singing this
     he cried "Hogmanay!"
Greig adds that "some four years ago [i.e. c. 1907] there
appeared in an Aberdeen paper one or two versions of
`Besuthian', a New Year traditional song, with some
discussion of the observances referred to in the ditty."
     (3) John Davidson, in SNQ I.9 (Feb 1888), 140: "In the
     beginning of the present century the following verses
     used to be sung as a new year's greeting by a Collieston
     fishwife to her customers in Udny."
     (4) J. Christie, Kenmore, SNQ I.10 (March 1888), 163,
     [+ tune, a version of The Keel Row.]
     (5) SNQ loc. cit., J.G. Michie :

     A version of the rhyme to which Dr. Davidson refers was
     very well known as late as thirty years ago [i.e., c.
     1858], and much better at an earlier date, in the upper
     parts of Aberdeenshire.  In that district cases of
     distress, arising from poverty or misfortune, generally
     culminated at what was called the `dead o' winter,' that
     is about the New-Year.  When such a case did occur, it
     was a common practice for sympathisers to go round
     amonmg the neighbours soliciting charity, accompanied by
     some one who could play an accompaniment on the fiddle
     or bagpipes to the following ditty:- [song follows].
     The above two verses are all I have ever heard of this
     rhyme.  It is evidently not an addition to, but a
     different version of the verses Dr. Davidson supplies.
     I have ascertained that the air he gives, if not
     exactly, is very nearly the same as I have heard it
     played to.

Filename[ GDNEWYR
WBO
OCT98
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