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Esme, deciding she needed a small treat went a wandering along the shores of the Bay of E, and came across the following; it has no cover, and is tatty as tatty can be, plus foxed to bits, but the title immediately appealed to me (Esme is half a Scot), and the couple of pages on display were enough to have my sole bid win (no one else was interested – the fools) enabling me to pick it up off the rough sand of said Bay for my own for the princely sum of six quid.

There was no date in the listing and none appears within the book itself, however I have since found out that this particular copy is the first edition and was published in 1882, making it one the earliest tomes Esme owns, and not only that, it is real treat too!

‘Tis written much like most of the works of Robert/Rabbe Burns – with the dialect intact, though this book is rather chewier I think so far as translating said dialect to the Mother English and her wagging tongue. Which makes it all the more interesting I’d say.

I have been unable to find any text from the book online at all, which is incredibly rare. There is however another book, by a different chap called Andrew Wanless, with a somewhat similar title – ‘Poems and Songs – Maistly Scotch’, which was said to be published either earlier, or later than my tome. There seems to be some contradiction on dates with that one. The content is not the same mind you, though the dialect is in the same vein.

Interestingly (or dull as dishwater to you, I have no idea and can’t be pleasing everyone of a Saturday afternoon, especially when I previously stated a Thursday is much better for me, so be about your business good sir/madam/Spiny Lumpsucker and let me be about mine!) enough I found an Andrew Stewart who married a Mary Wanless in the 1800’s in some historical records. This has little to do with anything of import, so do move along the bus.

But there’s more — I found a second book listed as ‘Readings, pithy and pawky: maistly Scotch and wholly diverting’ By Andrew Stewart too (Sub-Editor of The People’s Friend.) 1889. There seems to be no more information on that mind, but it is possible some small publisher got the original title wrong methinks.  – nods

And that’s not the end of the intrigue! There’s yet another book, (of which I shall furnish you with a link to all its innards by way of the title) called – ‘Scotch Readings Humorous and Amusing’ by Alexander G Murdoch – the copy online being the 4th edition published in 1889. The world was going mad for the Scotch I tell ye! As well they should.

Moving on, here for your amuse and perusement are a few carefully selected pages for ya peepers photographed by Esme;

Firstly – The Contents and Hints To Amateur Readers!

A few choice titles; Bowl Aboot, The Potteringerdraucht, An Electric Trip to London, Kissed in the Tunnel (misses), Domestic Mutual Improvement (Hahahahahaha, that’s what comes of kissing in the tunnel folks), How I didn’t Learn to Skate, and The Courtship of Bauldy Balwuddie. falls about

One of the ‘hints’ for amateur readers is as follows; ‘the reading desk should be placed at the left hand, breast high, leaving the right hand free for suitable action. (Esme is saying nothing, NOTHING). The book should lie quite flat on the desk, to enable the reader to step out, if necessary, and use both hands without the danger of the book closing or falling.’ – Serious stuff reading you know.

 

Next –  ‘Bowl Aboot’ . A small section of which I have typed out. (I’ve had to type the bloody lot out from the book I hope you all know because none of it is digitized!)

Lang Jock Maclean, the toozie loon,
Was ken’d an’ noted roun’ an’ roun’
As ane wha culdna let abee
The drink when signbords took his e’e;
But in wad bang wi’ richt gudewill,
Cryin’, “Landlady, bring in a gill.”
Then, if some drouthie (quite Clockwork Orange eh?) frien’s cam’ in,
The glasses roun’ an roun’ wad spin,
Till ilka ane began to feel
His noddle spinnin’ like a wheel. (His noddle! Ha!)

Below – The Pottingerdraucht. What a title for a story! A small excerpt for your appreciation;

Kate, upon being entreated to enter a photographer’s shop instead stands at the door asking after The Pottingerdraucht Man. She says “Na, na! By my feth! I—widna set ae fit inower that room-door—no for a five-pound note, for as puir a woman as I am this minute. Eh, na, sir! Guid forbid that I sud seek destruction on my ain twa legs an’ in the braid licht o’ day too!” (Big on exclamation marks is kate it would seem).  Mr Stout, the owner of said establishment says she seems to be hallucinating and she replies; “Hellushination or nae hellushination, I’m no gaun a fit inower that that room’door in the meantime. Na, na! Oor neebour woman tauld me yestreen, nae farrer gane, to tak’ guild care o’ mysel’ when I cam’hereawa, for the deevil had a big hand in this kind o’ wark, and’ nae guid could come oot o’t.”

Mr Stout in return; “Some evil-disposed person has been playing on your credulity, my dear. good woman.” – Hahahahaha.  ‘Hellushination‘ – fantastic, and just how Esme says the word when she’s triple cut)

 

On this page someone saw fit to cross out the line ‘Remarked the rougish blacksmith‘. How curious.

 

The Courtship of Bauldy Balwuddie – Upon visiting the house of Bauldy’s beloved – “His heart gaun pitty-patty like a deid lamb’s tail (awful) the ae minute, an’ strikin’ against his ribs the ither wi’ force like a sledge-hammer. He looked up at Kristy’s window an’ o’ bliss! It was lichted; an’ at that moment the soncy an’ substantial-like shadow of Kirsty (bit rude saying she’s weighty) was thrown upon the blind, and for a brief  space o’ time he felt as if walking in the vera clouds wi’ the exquisite emotions that filled his throbbing breast! “

The Battle O’ The Poker (misses)

 

 

 

Kissed in the Tunnel – The tale of Tammas Bodkin and his wife Tibbie. After she’s kissed in the tunnel Tibbie gets a monk on (annoyed), and Tammas has no idea why; “What did I do?” He exclaims. “Just kissed me when we were comin’ through the Tunnel, Tammas—that’s what ye did” quoth she “an’ I wad hae thocht naething o’t aitherns if ye hadna rubbed my face so cruelly wi’ yer hard beard, an’ naffled a’ my veil, an ruggit at my shawl till I thocht ye wadhae haen it  aff my back. Could ye no hae waitit till we got hame?” – Rough beard and a good naffling. Sounds like a fine afternoon to Esme.

I shall end with two songs; one by a fine folk outfit called Silly Wizard, which is called ‘Donald MacGillavry’. I love this enormously and shall be singing it from the rooftops for the next week now I imagine. Here’s a link to a blogger who has written a cracking post about this very song, revealing it to be a ‘hoax’ of sorts – Reasonable Conversation (You’d Like Me When I’m Angry) – Donald MacGillavry, The Genius Hoax – the full lyrics are also upon said page.

The second tune seemed fitting as it is perfomed by another Andrew Stewart – ‘Donald Where’s Your Troosers’. As you can see, the name ‘Donald’ is pretty popular round those parts.

Altogether now!

I’ve just come down
From the Isle of Skye
I’m not very big and I’m awful shy
And the lassies shout when I go by
Donald, where’s your troosers

Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

A lassie took me to a ball
And it was slippery in the hall
And I was feared that I would fall
For I had nae on my troosers

Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

Now I went down to London Town
And I had some fun in the underground
The ladies turned their heads around
Saying, Donald, where are your trousers

Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

To wear the kilt is my delight
It is not wrong I know it’s right
The Highlanders would get a fright
If they saw me in the trousers

Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

The lassies want me every one
Well, let them catch me if they can
You canna take the breaks
If a Highland man
And I don’t wear the troosers

Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers

Oh, well, that’s the way
We sing the song in Scotland
But of course the song might
Have more international appeal
Sung something like this
One, two, three, four

Well, I’ve just come down
From the Isle of Skye
I’m not very big and I’m awful shy
The lassies shout when I go by
Hey, Donald, where’s your troosers

Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies shout, go, go
Donald, where’s your troosers

Oh, man, I’m all rock and roll
And I’m a-moving and
A-grooving to save my soul
Grab your kilt and go, go, go
Hey, Donald, where’s your troosers

Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
Oh, yeah, go, go, go

Hey, Donald, where’s your troosers
Hey Donald, where’s your troosers
Yeah, hey, Donald

Hey, just a minute
What are you doing there
(Man, I’m rocking it, man)
(Man, I’m really moving it, man)

Well just you stop rocking it
And moving it, man
The song should be sung
Just exactly like this

I’ve just come down
From the Isle of Skye
I’m not very big and I’m awful shy
And the lassies shout when I go by
Donald, where’s your troosers

 

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