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Willie Wastle
TUNE: Sic a Wife as Willie had (Such a Wife as Willie had)

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

1.
Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,
The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie.
Willie was a wabster guid
Could stown a clue wi' onie bodie.
(Note:- stown a clue translates to stow a clew means
He had a wife was dour and din,
O, Tinkler Maidgeie was her mither!
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her.
2.
She has an e'e (she has but ane),
The cat has twa the very colour,
Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump,
A clapper-tongue wad deave a miller;
A whiskin beard about her mou,
Her nose and chin they threaten ither:
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her.
3.
She's bow-hough'd, she's hem-shin'd,
Ae limpin leg a hand-breed shorter;
She's twisted right, she's twisted left,
To balance fair in ilka quarter;
She has a hump upon her breast,
The twin o' that upon her shouther:
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her.
4.
Auld baudrans by the ingle sits,
And wi' her loof her face a-washin;
But Willie's wife in nae sae trig,
She dights her grunzie wi' a hushion;
Her walie nieves like midden-creels,
Her face wad fyle the Logan Water:
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her.


Willie Wastle dwelt on Tweed,
The spot they called it Linkumdoddie.
Willie was a weaver good
Could stown a clew with any body.
packs a ball of thread'.)
He had a wife was sullen and dun (dark complexioned),
O, Tinker (Gypsy) Maidgeie was her mother!
Such a wife as Willie had,
I would not give a button for her.

She has an eye (she has but one),
The cat has two the very (same) colour,
Five rusty teeth, besides a stump,
A (bell) clapper-tongue would deafen a miller;
A whisker beard about her mouth,
Her nose and chin they threaten each other (nearly meet):
Such a wife as Willie had,
I would not give a button for her.

She is bow legged, she is hem-shin'd (also bow legged),
One limping leg a hand-breadth shorter;
She is twisted right, she is twisted left,
To balance fair in each quarter;
She has a hump upon her breast,
The twin of that upon her shoulder:
Such a wife as Willie had,
I would not give a button for her.

Old cats by the fireplace sits,
And with her paw her face a-washing;
But Willie's wife in not so neat,
She wipes her face with a footless stocking;
Her ample fists like manure baskets,
Her face would foul the Logan Water:
Such a wife as Willie had,
I would not give a button for her.

 

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