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Parish of Dunkeld

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The Parish of Dunkeld

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The Parish of Dunkeld

cho: Oh, what a parish, a terrible parish;
     Oh, what a parish is that at Dunkeld.
     They hangit their minister, drooned the precentot,
     Dang doon the steeple and druken the bell.

The steeple was doon but the kirk was still stannin',
They biggit a lum* whar the bell used to hang.
A still-pot they got and they brewed hielan' whisky;
On Sunday they drank it and ranted and sang.

O, had you but seen how graceful they lookit,
To see the crammed pews so socially joined.
MacDonell the piper stood up in the pulpit,
He made the pipes skirl out the music divine.

Wi' whiskey and beer they would curse and they'd swear;
They'd argue and fecht [wi' ye done] will tell.
But Geordie and Charlie they [bothered fer] early
Wi' whiskey they're worse than the devil himsel'.

When the hairt-cheerin' spirit had mounted their garrets,
Tae a ball on the green they a' did adjourn.
The maids wi' coats kilted they skippit and lilted,
When tired they shook hands and then hame did return.

Wad the kirks a' of Scotland held like social meetings
Nae warning ye'd need from a far-tinklin' bell,
For true love and friends    would draw you thegether
Far better than roarin' the horrors o' hell.

Tune: Bonny Dundee
Note: Published in A North Country Garland, 1824
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III