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Jenny's bawbee

Language: English

I met four chaps yon birks amang,
Wi' hingin lugs and faces lang;
I speer'd at neebour Bauldy Strang,
What are they these I see?
Quo' he, ilk cream-fac'd, pawky chiel,
Thinks himsel' cunning as the de'il,
And here they came, awa to steal
Jenny's bawbee.
The first, a captain to his trade,
Wi' skull ill-lin'd, but back weel clad,
March'd round the barn and bye the shed,
And pap'd on his knee:
Quo' he, "My goddess, nymph, and queen,
"Your beauty's dazzled baith my e'en!"
But de'il a beauty he had seen
But -- Jenny's bawbee.
A lawyer niest, wi' bletherin gab,
Wha speeches wove like ony wab,
In ilk ane's corn ay took a dab,
And a' for a fee.
Accounts he ow'd through a' the town,
And tradesmen's tongues nae mair cou'd drown,
But now he thought to clout his gown
Wi' Jenny's bawbee.
A Norland laird niest trotted up,
Wi' bawsen'd naig and siller whup,
Cried, "There's my beast, lad, had the grup,
Or tie't till a tree.
"What's gowd to me, I've walth o' lan',
"Bestow on ane o' worth your han';"
He thought to pay what he was awn
Wi' Jenny's bawbee.
Dress'd up just like the knave o' clubs,
A thing came niest, (but life has rubs),
Foul were the roads, and fou the dubs,
And jaupit a' was he.
He danc'd up, squintin through a glass,
And grinn'd "I' faith a bonnie lass!"
He thought to win, wi' front o' brass,
Jenny's bawbee.
She bade the laird gae kaim his wig,
The soger no to strut sae big,
The lawyer no to be a prig,
The fool cry'd "Tehee!
"I kent that I could never fail!"
But she prin'd the dish-clout to his tail,
And sous'd him wi' a water-pail,
And kept her bawbee!


Birks = burch trees
Lugs = ears
Speer'd = asked
Ilk = every
Chiel = cunning young fellow
Bawbee = halfpenny
Niest = next
Gab = idle talk
Dab = taste
Clout = mend
Siller whup= with wide-faced horse and silver whip
Grup = hold it firmly
Till = to
Gowd = gold
Awn = owing
Dubs = full of puddles, or pool of rain-water
Jaupit = bespattered with mud
Kaim = comb
Prin'd = pinned
Dish-clout = dish-colth
Sous'd = punished

Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website: 2009-09-02.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:21
Line count: 48
Word count: 301

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