The Laird o Drum

On Autumn Harvest AH 005
Gordon Easton - The Last of the Clydesdales

Gordon Easton sings:

The laird of the Castle of Drum had been married to a daughter of the Gordons of Huntly. While the laird was away to the Jacobite wars she divorced him. When he came home he fell for a young shepherd lass and asked her to marry. His brother and family did not approve and when the wedding party arrived at the castle none of the lords and lairds would acknowledge the new lady of the Drum. A fine old ballad still well known in the northeast (Child 236) that Gordon learnt from his granny - and based on an event dating from the early 1680s when Alexander Irvine of Drum then aged 62 married the 'pretty and youthful Margaret Coutts aged 16.

1: The laird o Drum a huntin gaed,
'Twas in the mornin early,
An there he met wi a fair young maid,
She wis shearin her faither’s barley.

2: "Could ye fancy me my bonnie young lass,
And let your shearin be O,
And come wi me tae the castle o Drum,
My lady for tae be O."

3: "No I couldnae fancy you kind sir,
Nor let ma shearin be O,
For I am come o ower low degree,
Your lady for tae be O."

4: Noo ma faither he's a peer shepherd man,
Herdin sheep on yonder hill O,
And the only thing he wants me tae dee,
Aye dee it tae his will O."

5: So the laird has gane tae her faither dear,
Herdin hoggs on yonder hill O, [hogg - lamb
Saying, "I'd like tae mairry your ae dochter,
If ye'll gie's your gweed will O."

6: "Noo the lassie canna read nor write,
She wis nivver at the schule O,
But for on either word she can dee it richt weel,
For I learned the lassie masel O."

7: "She'll thrash in yer barn, she'll winnie yer corn,
She'll wark in kill or mill O. [kiln
An she'll saiddle your steed in time o need,
And she'll draw up yer boots as weel O."

8: "No she'll nivver hae tae wark in the barn,
Or wark in mill or kill O,
Nor saiddle ma steed in time o need,
And I'll draw up ma boots masel O."

9: "It's faa will bake my bridal breid?
And faa will brew ma ale O?
And faa will welcome ma bonnie lassie hame,
It's mair than I can tell O."

10: "Oh the baker will bake your bridal breid,
And the brewer will brew your ale O,
And as for tae welcome your bonnie lassie hame,
Ye can dee it right weel yersel O."

11: There wis fower an twenty lords and lairds,
Rade in at the yett o Drum O,
Yet neen o them pit their hand tae their hat,
Tae welcome the lassie hame O.

12: But the laird has taen her by the hand,
And led her through the haa O,
And he's gien tae her the keys tae aa the rooms,
Saying, "Ye're welcome ma lady tae Drum O."

13: And then up spoke his brither John,
"Ye hae deen us muckle ill O,
For ye've mairrit a maid alow oor degree,
Bringing shame tae aa wir kin O."

14: Noo it's haud yer tongue my brither John,
I've deen ye little ill O,
For I've mairrit a wife tae mak and tae mend,
And ye mairrit een tae spen O."

15: Aifter they had dined and wined,
And the nicht it wis far gane O,
The shepherd's lassie an the laird o Drum,
They were in ae bed laid O.

16: "Noo I telt ye weel afore we were wed,
I wis come o low degree O,
But noo that we are baith in ae beddie laid,
Am I nae jist as gweed as ye O?"

17: "And am I nae come o Adam's kin,
Wha ate the forbidden tree O?
It's whaur were aa your gentry then,
Am I nae jist as gweed as they O."

18: "And if I were deid and ye were deid,
And baith in ae grave laid O,
Gin sax lang years had come and gane,
Wad ye ken your dust fae mine O?
Aye gin sax lang years hae come and gane,
Wad ye ken your mould fae mine O?"

c p 2007 Autumn Harvest AH005