On Springthyme SPRCD 1039
Jock Duncan - Ye Shine Whar Ye Stan!

Perhaps the most legendary bothy ballad of the lot, this song gives a description of a day in the life of one of the largest ferm touns in the North East (GD 384, Ord p209). Drumdelgie is in hilly country between Huntly and Keith, the farm buildings now holiday homes and the near thousand acres converted to forestry.

Pete Shepheard - melodeon; Brian McNeill - concertina

1: There's a fairm toun up in Cairney wha's kent baith far an wide,
Tae be the hash o Drumdelgie upon sweet Deveronside; [i.e. large farm
The fairmer o yon muckle toun he is baith hard an sair,
And the caulest day that iver blaws, his servants get their share.

2: At five o'clock we quickly rise and hurry doun the stair,
An it's there we corn oor horses, likewise tae straik their hair;
Syne aifter warkin half-an-hour, each tae the kitchie goes,
And it's there we get oor breakfast which generally is brose.

3: We hidnae got oor brose weel suppit and gien oor pints a tie,
Fan the foreman he cries, "Oot ma lads, the hour is drawin nigh."
At sax o'clock the mill's pit on tae gie us aa stracht wark,
It taks fower o us tae mak tae her till you could ring oor sark.

4: And fan the water is put aff, we hurry doun the stair,
Tae get some quarters throw the fan till daylicht dis appear; [quarter = 3 cwt. oats
When daylicht dis begin tae peep and the sky begins tae clear,
The grieve cries oot, "Come on my lads, you'll be nae langer here."
There's sax o ye'll gyang tae the ploo, and twa tae caw the neeps,
And the bailies they'll be aifter you wi strae rapes round their queets."

5: But fan that we were gyaun forth and turnin oot tae yoke,
The snaw dank on sae thick an fast that we were like to choke;
The frost it bein sae very hard, the ploo she widna go,
And sae oor cairtin days commenced amang the frost and snaw.

6: Oor horses being but young and sma, the shafts they didna fill,
And they aft required the saiddler chains tae pull them up the hill;
But we will sing oor horses' praise though they be young an sma,
For they far ootshine the broadlands eens that gyangs sae full and braw.

7: The term time has come at last and we will get wir brass,
And we'll awa tae Huntly fair tae hae a pairtin glass;
And we'll gyang in tae Huntly toun and there gyang on the spree,
And then the fun it will commence, the quinies for tae see.

8: Sae fare ye weel Drumdelgie, for I maun gyang awa,
Sae fare ye weel Drumdelgie, yer weetie wither and aa,
Sae fare ye weel Drumdelgie, I bid ye aa adieu,
An I leave ye as I got ye - a maist unceevil crew.

Jock: That's an interesting song. It has a bit of history aboot it. The song speaks about the water mill: 'It took four men tae mak tae her.' They made hand windlins o straw at the tail o the mill. The straw cam oot loose and they made small bunches wi their hands - fit ye call windlins. We didna dee it in my time [at Faddenhill] but ma faither had tae dee it fen he wis young. A windlin wis ration for two beasts for a day. They thrashed a ruck o corn most mornings at Drumdelgie to supply the strae requirements for the byres.

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