On Springthyme SPRCD 1039
Jock Duncan - Ye Shine Whar Ye Stan!

This bothy ballad is said to have been composed by Willie Clark, 'poet Clark' a farm servant on the farm of Sleepytoon near Kennethmont south of Huntly, probably around 1870. Through his Buchan Observer articles Gavin Greig managed to get a number of versions of the song, some with many more verses that others, and no doubt various singers added verses (GD 356).

Brian McNeill - bouzouki; Gordon Duncan - whistle

1: It happened at last Witsunday,
I tired o ma place,
And I gaed up tae Inch tae fee,
Ma fortune for tae chase.
An sing airy arity adie O,
Sing airy arity ann.

2: I met in wi Adam Mitchell,
Tae fee we did presume,
He's a fairmer in Kennethmont,
An he bides at Sleepytoon.

3: "If you and I agree," he said,
"Ye'll hae the fairest play,
For I niver bid my servants work,
Above ten hours a day."

4: "If aa be true ye tell tae me,
I think the place will suit,
Guid fegs! I think I'll gang wi ye,
But ye're an ugly brute."

5: 'Twas on a Monday mornin
I gaed hame tae Sleepytoon,
An he ranked us in gweed order,
For tae lay his turnips doun.

6: I wis sent tae caw the dung, [i.e. neighbour
Likewise ma neiper Knowles,
But then the rain it did come on,
And the orders cam tae lowse. [i.e. to stop work

7: The rain it did ding on the worse, [rained in torrents
The sun was at the mill,
"For meal," Adam Mitchell said,
"Oor bellies for tae fill."

8: The rain it soon went over,
And the day began tae break,
And oor neist orders wis tae scrape
Oor denners fae the secks. [i.e. scrape the sacks for dinner

9: "We'll ne'er refuse what you command,
What e'er ye bid us do,
But tae eat the scrapins o the secks
Is a thing we'll never do."

10: "Oh ye daur refuse your order,
Oh the scoundrels that ye are,
But ye bargained for ten hours a day,
Refuse them if ye daur. [i.e. if you dare

11: The orders wis tae bed at nine,
And never leave the toun,
And for every time we left it
We wis fined half-a-croun.

12: Knowles wis fined mony's a time,
But never lost the hert,
And I masel wis fined a pound
For turnin up a cairt.

13: But we niver heeded Adam,
And aye we took the pass,
Sometimes tae buy tobacca,
Sometimes tae see a lass.

14: But noo Mairtinmas term is come at last,
Oor fee is safely won,
And we'll awa tae Rhynie Fair,
And there we'll hae some fun.

15: Fan we are ower in Alford, boys,
We'll gar the glass ging roun,
An we'll tell them aa the usage
That we had at Sleepytoon.

16: I still see Auld Adam yet,
Suppin his dish o brose,
I think I'll send him a hankie
Just tae dicht his snuffy nose.
An sing airy arity adie O,
Sing airy arity ann.

Jock: The fairmer’s son cam back fae the mill and got the meal bags drenched wi rain – and when the bowies [bags] o meal were emptied intae the girnel the wet meal stuck tae the bags. The hungry [mean] fairmer wanted the men to scrape the meal off tae mak brose for their dinner – which they refused tae dee.

c p 1996 Springthyme Records :