The Lothian Hairst

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

This song is from the days in the early 1800's when squads of men were hired to bring in the harvest, travelling south by boat from Aberdeen to Leith to cut the corn on the large farms of the Lothians before following the ripening crop north from farm to farm, to finally bring in the Aberdeenshire harvest a month or so later. The contractor, or maister, as he was called by the workers, would undertake to cut, gather and stock grain crops at an arranged price per acre. A foreman was appointed who was held responsible by the contractor for carrying out the various contracts. Jimmy learned this from Norman Kennedy who got it from Jimmy MacBeath - when both were guests at the St Andrews folk club in the 1960s.

1: On August twelfth frae Aberdeen we sailit on the Prince,
And landed safe in Stafford's fields oor harvest tae commence.

2: Noo oor gaffer Willie Mathieson frae sweet Deeside he cam,
And oor foreman cam frae that same side and Logan was his name.

3: Noo we follaed Logan at the point and sae weel he laid it doun,
And bravely he did lead the squad ower many's a thistly toun.

4: Noo for six lang weeks we cairried on and frae toun tae toun we went,
And weel we took tae the Laithian lads and weel were they content.

5: Though I mysel bein a heiland lad I could seek nae better cheer,
Than a Laithian bed wi a Deeside maid and a night as lang's a year.

6: So we'll tak oor glesses in oor hands aye and we will wish it weel,
And maybe we'll get kindness yet gin fortune turns the wheel.

7: So here's a health tae Willie Mathieson, tae Logan and aa oor jolly crew,
And maybe we'll meet up again when whistlin at the ploo.

c p 2010 Autumn Harvest :