When I Was a Wee Thing
When I was a wee thing,
And just like an elf,
All the meat that e'er I gat,
I laid upon the shelf.
The rottens and the mice
They fell into a strife,
They wadnae let my meat alane
Till I gat a wife.
And when I gat a wife,
She wadnae bide therein,
Till I gat a hurl-barrow,
To hurle her out and in.
The hurl-barrow brake,
My wife she gat a fa';
And the foul fa' the hurl-barrow,
Cripple wife and a'.
She wadnae eat nae bacon,
She wadnae eat nae beef,
She wadnae eat nae lang-kail,
For fyling o' her teeth:
But she wad eat the bonnie bird,
That sits upon the tree:
Gang down the burn, Davie, love,
And I sall follow thee.
Herd MSS.; Herd 1776 II.213 (tune, John Anderson my Jo);
Montgomerie SNR (1946), 87 (no. 107; omits st. 2 and 4),
probably from Moffat 50 TSNR (1933), 23, similarly
defective [with tune, a version of John Anderson]; ODNR
96 (no. 71), "When I was a little boy" etc.; first ref.
Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, c. 1744. The last two
lines are from the conclusion of stanza 1 of Robert
Crawford's "Doun the Burn, Davie", a love song appearing
in TTM (1724), and with music in Orpheus Caledonius,