The Castlegate

Norman Kennedy: On Autumn Harvest ah003.
Old Songs & Bothy Ballads: For Friendship and for Harmony
Live from the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2005.

An ever popular traditional song of a young ploughboy who goes to town on a spree and falls into a scrape with a young woman. Most versions of the song refer to the Overgate and the Beefcan Close in Dundee but here the song is claimed by Aberdeen's Castlegate and the nearby Peacock's Close - a place that retained its reputation as a place of ill-repute till recent times (Roud 866).

1: As I cam ower the Castlegate,
I met a fair young lass;
And she gaed me a wink wi the tail o her ee,
As I cam walkin past.
Ricky doo dum day, doo dum day,
Ricky dicky doo dum day.

2: I asked her fit her name wis,
Says she, "It's Mary Rose,
And I bide in ower the Castlegate,
At the fit o Peacock's Close.

3: I spierd faa she wis bade wi,
And says she, "A Mistress Bruce."
Syne I got an invitation,
Tae gyang tae the lodgin hoose.

4: Noo as we gaed doon the Peacock's Close,
It bein raither dark;
I slipped ma money fae ma inside pooch,
An waffed it tae the tail o ma sark.
[waffed - tied

5: Weel, we gaed in the lodgin hoose,
An on a chair sat doon;
Fin she gaed me a wink wi the tail o her ee,
Says she, "Come ben the room."

6: Well I fed her pies and porter,
I fed her ham and beer;
An I swear she ate an drunk as muckle,
As I'd dae in a year.

7: Syne we went tae bed contentedly,
Tae spend a peacefu nicht;
Fan a knock it cam tae the bedroom door,
At the brakin o daylicht.

8: Then in cam twa policemen,
An they taen me be the hair,
An I did a huly-burly,
In ma sark tail doon the stair.

9: Then aa nicht lang I thocht I lay,
In the airms o Mary Rose,
Fin I waukened I wis lyin on ma back,
At the fit o Peacock's Close.

10: Oh she stole fae me ma watch an chain,
Ma speuchan and ma purse;
But I stole fae her her maidenheid,
And that's a damn sicht worse.
[speuchan - tobacco pouch

11: Sae aa ye jolly plooboys,
That are gan oot for a lark,
Jist ye be like me fin ye gang on a spree,
Waff yer money tae the tail o your sark.
[waff - tie
Ricky doo dum day, doo dum day,
Ricky dicky doo dum day.
c p 2006 Autumn Harvest