Sleepytoon in the Morning

Jim Taylor: On Autumn Harvest ah08: Old Songs & Bothy Ballads: There's Bound to be a Row. Recorded at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2009.

A George Morris composition. This song is typical of the later bothy ballads or 'cornkisters' of the early 20th century and was recorded on a 78 by George himself in the early 1930s. George's father was a farrier with his own business and George too became a blacksmith. In 1912 he married Agnes Kemp, the sister of Willie Kemp, the King of the Cornkisters, and moved to Oldmeldrum in 1919 where the Kemp family ran a hotel business. During his time in Oldmeldrum he started performing and writing and by 1930 he had come to the attention of the Beltona record label. During the following decade he recorded more than 40 bothy ballads or cornkisters composed by himself or in collaboration with Willie Kemp.

1: Come aa ye lads that follow the ploo,
A story true I'll tell tae you,
O some o the ongyangs we gyang through,
At Sleepytoon in the mornin.

2: At five oor foreman jumps like a shot,
And cries, "Lord sakes, what a sleepy heided lot;
Are ye aa gaun tae lie there till ye rot,
At Sleepytoon in the mornin?"

3: Syne at half past five we follow wir nose,
Ower tae the kitchen tae chaw wir brose;
Fairm servants seldom need a dose,
O castor ile in the mornin.

4: Oor foreman lays his brose cup by,
Syne ben the hoose he gaes a cry;
He's hardly time his pints tae tie,
Till he's oot til his horse in the mornin.

5: Oor bailie's sober, thin an sma,
Sideweys he's hardly seen ava;
But he'll pu neeps wi ony twa,
That ever raise in the mornin.

6: I ken but Birkie is oor loon,
His waltams cost him hauf a croun;
His briks are that ticht, he's fly tae set doun,
For tearin his briks in the mornin.
7: We hae a great muckle kitchie-deem,
I'll swear she's gey near auchteen steen;
The auld cat kittled in ane o her sheen,
Afore she got up ae mornin.

8: The fairmer's name is Geordie Broon,
He's weel respeckit roun and roun;
But I canna say the same for Mrs Broon,
Wi her scowlin face in the mornin.

9: She's a hungry hun, the fairmer's wife,
Ae ee says Forfar, the ither says Fife;
She's a face like a decanter and a nose like a knife,
That wad hash Swedish neeps in the mornin.

10: But oor misses she is nae sae bad,
It's jist aboot time she had a lad;
I've been thinkin masel o spierin her dad,
For his dother some fine mornin.

11: I've been writing this stroud on the corn kist,
I'm the orra loon an I'll seen be missed;
An if I dinna want a wallop fae the foreman's fist,
It's 'ta ta' til some ither mornin.

waltams - nicky tams

c p 2010 Autumn Harvest :