The Brundenlaws

On Autumn Harvest AH 004
Old Songs & Bothy Ballads - Some Rants o Fun

Henry Douglas sings:

It seems likely that the song could be based on an actual youthful prank. Henry got his version of the song from George Jeffrey, a former Provost of Jedburgh, who thought that his father (who had died aged 93 years) had composed the song. A further version, collected from James Cockburn of Mellandean, Kelso, can be found in Tocher # 5 (1972) pp. 150 – 51.

1: Twas yin fine night in sweet July,
The night was dark and the moon was high:
When three bonnie lads on mischief bent,
Away to the Brundenlaws they went.

Little an a touran an ootan adie.
Little an a touran antan ae.

2: Away for a ladder they did go
They placed it against the window so.
Up the ladder they did gang
Shoutin, "Hi bonnie lassie, will ye no let's in?"

3: They stayed in there til nearly two,
Til daylight did come peeping through.
Then, "Bonnie lass we're away for fear
For I hear auld Tom coming up the stair."

4: When doon the ladder they did run,
Shoutin, (she) "Rin, ma dear, for here's auld Tam."
They aa away, like hares did ran,
And they hid in the meadow where the grass was long.

5: We crept thegether tae form a plan,
Tae see if back again ladder gang.
Says I, "I'll tell ye what we'll dae,
We'll fling the blooming auld thing away."

6: Nae sooner the plan did I propose,
'Til yin tae each other o the ladder goes.
We carried it away right oot o sight,
And flung the blooming thing o'er the dyke.

7: Next morning when auld Tam arose,
Straight to the broken ladder he goes,
An when he saw it, he did stare,
And cursed and swore and pulled his hair.

8: Then straight to the cook wi aa his might,
Saying, "Jean, last night's been an affa night,
Sae sit ye doon, I'm telling ye plain,
An gie me every yin o their names."

9: "Tae giw their names, I'll dae what I can,
But I'll no gie mony, in case I'm wrong.
There was Gide for the horse, and Pate for the hill,
An Willie Scott frae the auld saw-mill."

10: Next day a policeman he did come,
Saying, "Faith, ma lad, what's this ye've done?
Ye'll hae to go to Jed and plead your cause,
For breaking the ladder at the Brundenlaws."

11: "For breaking the ladder, what's this ye say?
De'il I never heard o it til this day.
But if ye think that I'm your man,
Then you an Tam Charlton's gay faur wrang!"

12: So here's tae the lads and lasses dear,
Ye havenae got onything mair tae hear,
But if ever ye try tae speed up waas,
Keep awa frae Tom from the Brundenlaws.

Little an a touran an ootan adie.
Little an a touran antan ae.

c p 2007 Autumn Harvest AH004