by Allan Ramsay (1686 - 1758)

Willie was a wanton wag
Language: English 
O Willie was a wanton wag, 
The blythest lad that e'er I saw,
At bridals still he bore the brag, 
And carried ay the gree awa! 
His doublet was of Zetland shag,
And vow! but Willie he was braw, 
And at his shoulder hung a tag,
That pleas'd the lasses ane and a'.

He was a man without a clag, 
His heart was frank without a flaw;
And ay whatever Willie said, 
It still was hadden as a law.
His boots they were made of the jag, 
When he went to the weapon-shaw;
Upon the green nane durst him brag, 
The fiend a ane amang them a'.


Bore the brag = carried off the highest place or honour
And carried ay the gree = and was the most superior
Zetland shag = material having a long, rough nap
Braw = handsome
Clag = fault
Hadden = held
Jag = the best part of calf leather
Weapon-shaw = show of arms or weapons
Brag = challenge


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

Researcher for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani

This text was added to the website: 2012-10-04
Line count: 16
Word count: 107