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Email: bobstewartfolk@gmail.com  

Phone: 07955385886

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Scots to English Translations

On this page you will find a variety of Scots to English translations.
Bob performs many songs in his native Scots language that are written by Burns, Tannahill and other Traditional poets.
Bob is regularly asked by audience members for the meanings and translations.
 
Bob was lucky enough  to grow up in an environment where Scots language was used daily. He spent many weekends and holidays at the home of his grandparents, Elizabeth & James Dewar, at 10 High Street, Alyth. He would often pick the berries, listen to the Bothy Ballads and take part in Bothy Nights as a youth. The family were all very musical, playing accordians, guitars, moothy, piano and anything else that came to hand!

Willie Wastle - Robert Burns 1792

This is a poem written by Robert Burns. In it he describes a friend's wife.  She must have upset him at some point as he is not at all complimentary about her!
Scots

Willie Wastle dwelt on Tweed,

The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie.

Willie was a wabster guid, 

Could stown a clue wi onie body.

He had a wife was dour and din,

0, Tinkler Maidgie was her mither!

Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wad na gie a button for her.

 

She has an e'e (she has but ane),

The cat has twa the very colour,

Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump,

A clapper-tongue wad deave a miller;

A whiskin beard aboot her mou,

Her nose and chin they threaten ither:

Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wad na gie a button for her.

 

She's bow-hough'd, she's hem-shin'd,

Ae limpin leg a hand-breed shorter;

She's twisted right, she's twisted left,

To balance fair in ilka guarter;

She has a hump upon her breast,

The twin o that abane her shouther:

Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wad na gie a button for her.

 

Auld baudrans by the ingle sits,

An wi her loof her face a-washin;

But Willie's wife is nae sae trig,

She dights her grunzie wi a hushion;

Her wallie nieves like midden-creels,

Her face wad fyle the Logan Water:

Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wad na gie a button for her

English
English

Willie Wastle lived on Tweed,

The place they called Linkumdoddie.

Willie was a good weaver,

Could pack a ball of thread with any body.

He had a wife was sullen and done,

0, Gipsy Maidgie was her mother!

Such a wife as Willie had,

I would not give a button for her.

 

She has an eye (she has but one),

The cat has two the same colour,

Five rusty teeth, and a stump,

A bell tongue that would deafen a miller;

A whisker beard around her mouth,

Her nose and chin nearly meet:

Such a wife as Willie had,

I would not give a button for her.

 

She's bow legged, she's short,

One limping leg a hand breadth shorter;

She's twisted right, she's twisted left,

To balance herself;

She has a hump on her breast,

The twin of that on her shoulder:

Such a wife as Willie had,

I would not give a button for her.

 

The old cat by the fireplace sits,

And with her paw she washes her face;

But Willie's wife is not so polite,

She wipes her face with a footless stocking;

Her swollen fists like manure baskets,

Her face would poison the Logan Water (river):

Such a wife as Willie had,

I would not give a button for her

UP IN THE MORNING EARLY - JOHN HAMILTON 

This version of 'Up In The Morning Early' is credited in the book 'The Queens Edition Of The Vocal Melodies of Scotland' (published in 1884) to John Hamilton. Hamilton was one of the poets who, along with Burns, contributed towards the 'Scots Musical Museum'. His work was often mistaken for Burns as he occasionally added verses to Burn's poems. "This song was an improvement upon the versus of the same theme by Burns." (Scottish Poetry of The Eighteenth Century). The tune dates back to around 1652.
 
Bob's grandfather, James Dewar, sung this song when he woke early each morning. After he retired from farming, he still rose first thing to prepare the breakfast and light the fire for Bobs Uncles & Aunts. Bob recalls these memories fondly. 
Scots

Cauld blaws the wind fae north tae south

The drift is driving sairly

The sheep are cowering in the heugh

Sirs its winter fairly

 

Up in the mornings no fur me, up in the morning early

Id rather gae supperless tae ma bed, than rise in the morning early.

 

Loud roars the blast among the wids

And tirls the branches barely

On hill and hoose hear how it thuds

The frost is nippin sairly

 

Up in the mornings no fur me, up in the morning early

Tae sit awe nicht wad better agree, than rise in the morning early.

 

The sun peeps ower yon southland hills

Like ony timorous cairlie

Jaist blinks a wee and sinks again

And that we feel severely

 

Up in the mornings no fur me, up in the morning early 

When the snaw blaws in at the chimley cheek, wha’d rise in the morning early

 

Nae linties sing on hedge or bush

Pair things they suffer sairly

In cauld rife quarters awe the nicht

Awe day they feed but sparely

 

Up in the mornings no fur me, up in the morning early 

A penniless purse I would rather dree, than rise in the morning early

 

A cosy hoose, a cantie wife

 Aye keep a body cheerily

And pantries stowed wee meet and drink

They answer unco fairly

 

But up in the morning, Na na na, Up in the morning early

The gowans min glint on bank and brae, when I rise in the morning early

English

Cold blows the wind from north to south

The snow is drifting heavy and high

The sheep are hiding in the gully

Gentleman its truly winter

 

Up in the mornings not for me, up in the morning early

Id rather go to my bed without supper, than rise in the morning early.

 

The wind blows wildly through the trees

And moving the branches wildly

Hear it rattle the hills and the house

The frost is biting hard

 

Up in the morning is not for me, up in the morning early

It would be better to stay up all night, than rise in the morning early.

 

The sun barely rises above the south hills

Like a scared little man

Just shines a little and sets again

And we do not like it

 

Up in the morning is not for me, up in the morning early

When the snow blows down to the fire place, who would rise in the morning early

 

No small birds are singing in the hedges

Poor birds suffer so much

In very cold nests all night

All day there is not much food for them

 

Up in the morning is not for me, up in the morning early 

I would rather have no money in my purse, than rise in the morning early

 

A warm house, a lovely wife

Keeps a man happy

And pantries full of food and drink

These are very appealing

 

But up in the morning, No no no, Up in the morning early

The daisies glint with frost on roadside and hill, when I rise in the morning early

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