I Ken Something
I ken something that I'll no tell,
A' the lasses o' our town are cruppen in a shell,
Except the Flower o' [Hamilton], and she's cruppen out,
[And she has a wee bairn, wi' a dish-clout.]
Some ca't the kittlin, and some ca't the cat,
And some ca't the little boy wi' the straw hat.
The boy gaed to her daddie, to seek a wee piece,
But he took up the airn tangs, and hit it i' the teeth;
It roared and it grat--gang down to the corse,
And see the Flower o' [Hamilton] riding on a horse.
I've found something that I'll no tell,
A' the lads o' our town clockin' in a shell,
A' but [Willie Johnston], and he's cruppen out,
And he will have [Susie Kerr] without ony doubt;
He kissed and clappit her, he's pared a' her nails,
He made her a gown o' peacock tails:
Baith coal and candle ready to burn,
And they're to be married the morn's afternoon.
(1) and (2) Chambers PRS (1847), 257; (1870), 119 [note
C.'s square brackets in line 4, which probably means a
bowdlerisation]; and SC 78, 85 ("I fand somethin"). A
rhyme "intended to convey an insinuation against the
presumedly prettiest young maiden of the party, usually
called `the Flower' of her place of residence". Cf. "In
came the daddy o't", "Halloween, ae night at e'en".
What may be another (fragmentary) version is in
Maclagan, GDA (1901), 254: "I ken something, I'll not
tell;/ All the birdies in the town cam' to ring the
bell." Var. of this in Rymour Club Misc. I (1906-11),
51: "I've found something, I'll no tell,/ A' the birdies
i' the air Canna ring a bell"; MacLennan SNR (1909), 19:
"I see something, an' I sanna tell,/ A' the dogs o'
Kirriemuir canna ring the bell"; Rodger Lang Strang
(1948), 17: "I ken something I'll no' tell,/ A' the dogs
in Edinburgh canna ring a bell."