Foreman at Drum

Geordie Murison from Stonehaven: On Autumn Harvest ah010: Old Songs & Bothy Ballads: Hurrah Boys Hurrah! Live from the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2010.

Composed by Frank Henry who was brought up in the Cabrach between Huntly and Aberdeen. A young man goes to the feeing market to look for a new job and agrees to a contract but gets more than he bargained for. Learned by Geordie from the singing of Gordon Easton.

1: Ae Martinmas day the grieve fae the Drum,
Tappit me on the shouder, he spiered gin I’d come,
Aa tae wark his first pair for a winter half year,
Wi a big cleekit horse and a ringle ee’d meer.

2: Plenty o tools, the best o a squad,
Wis never pit oot fen the weather was bad;
We'd a prize takken bull, great thumpers o kye,
An a bonnie young quine in the kitchie forbye.

3: We newsed o the horse, the knowte an the ploo,
He held on the drink an I gey near got fu;
Syne aifter a half dozen glasses o rum,
Like a gowke, I feed hame tae be foreman at Drum.

4: I'll never forget the first nicht at the Drum,
An losh, I wish I never had come;
There wis hardly a bowster tae haud up ma heid,
The snores o the loon would hae waukened the deid.

5: The baillie wis big, he'd a bed till himsel,
Well it wis jist as weel 'cos his feet had a smell;
Like a press full o cheese, oh my, sic a hum,
There wis millions o fleas in the chaumer at Drum.

6: The meer wis a kicker, files she ran aff,
The horse wis a stiff 's an auld man wi a staff;
Ah but ye shoulda heard foo the grieve he could bum,
Ae day he fee'd me tae gyang hame tae the Drum.

7: The milk it wis blue, the porridge wis thin,
Like a cooard in a battle aye willin tae rin,
An the breid wis sic teugh, the scones were sic raw,
Man, it taens near a yokin oor brakfast tae chaw.
[a yokin - a stint of work - four or five hours

8: An Babbie the skiffy wis brosie an big,
She'd a glaik in her ee an I'll sweir she'd a wig;
Her face an her hands aye as black as a lum,
Ach, nae wunner the lads widna fee tae the Drum.

9: I'll never forget the first nicht at the Drum,
Ah losh, I wish I never had come;
But ye shoulda heard hoo the grieve he could bum
Ae day he fee'd me tae gyang hame tae the Drum.

c p 2011 Autumn Harvest : www.springthyme.co.uk