Wash Weel the Fresh Fish
Wash weel the fresh fish, wash weel the fresh fish,
Wash weel the fresh fish,
An' skim weel the bree,
For there's mony a foul-fitted thing, mony a foul-fitted
Mony a foul-fitted thing, I' the saut sea.
I'll catch the white fish, I'll catch the white fish,
I'll catch the white fish.
To please my lassie's ee;
But the bonny black-backit fish, the bonny black-backit
The bonny black-backit fish
Has aye the sweetest bree.
Paul Past & Present of Aberdeenshire (1881), 152 (no. 18)
[lines regularised]; Rymour Club Misc. III (1928), 184;
Nicht at Eenie (1932), 15; Montgomerie SNR (1946), 39
Cf. a rhymed saying/proverb from the Mintlaw district of
Buchan, in Rymour Club Misc. II (1912-19), 16: "Wash weel
your fresh fish, and scum weel your bree;/ For there's mony a
foul-fitted beast swims in the sea."