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Index


Kellyburn Braes
TUNE: (As Title)

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

Kellyburn Braes

1.
There lived a carl in Kellyburn Braes
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
And he had a wife was the plague o' his days
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
(Note:- ' Rue' is a strong smelling Mediterranean
shrub with bitter leaves and greenish-yellow flowers.)
2.
Ae day as the carl gaed up the lang glen
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
He met wi' the Devil, says: -- ' How do you fen?'
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
(Note:- How do you fend? translates to,
How are you getting on?)
3.
' I've got a bad wife, sir, that's a' my complaint
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
For saving your presence, to her ye're a saint,
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
4.
' It's neither your stot nor your staig I shall crave
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
' But gie me your wife, man, for her I maun have'
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
5.
' O welcome most kindly!' the blythe carl said
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
' But if ye can match her ye're waur than
ye're ca'd'
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
6.
The Devil has got the auld wife on his back
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
And like a poor pedlar he's carried his pack
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
7.
He's carried her hame to his ain hallan-door
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
Syne bade her gae in for a bitch and a whore
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
8.
Then straight he makes fifty, the pick o' his band
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
Turn out on her guard in the clap o' a hand
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
9.
The carlin gaed thro' them like onie wud bear
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
Whae'er she gat hands on cam near her nae mair
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
10.
A reekit wee deevil looks over the wa'
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
' O help, maister, help, or she'll ruin us a'! '
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
11.
The Devil he swore by the edge o' his knife
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
He pitied the man that was tied to a wife
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).

12.
The Devil he swore by the kirk and the bell
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
He was not in wedlock, thank Heav'n, but in Hell
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
13.
Then Satan has travell'd again wi' his pack
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
And to her auld husband he's carried her back
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).
14.
' I hae been a Devil the feck o' my life
(Hey and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme),
But ne'er was in Hell till I met wi' a wife.'
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime).

 

Kellyburn Hillsides


There lived an old man in Kellyburn Hillsides
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
And he had a wife was the plague of his days
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).



One day as the old man went up the long glen
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
He met with the Devil, says: -- ' How do you fend?'
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).



' I've got a bad wife, sir, that's all my complaint
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
For saving your presence, to her you are a saint,
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

' It is neither your steer nor your young horse I shall crave
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
' But give me your wife, man, for her I must have'
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

' O welcome most kindly!' the blythe old man said
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
' But if you can match her you are worse than
you are called'
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

The Devil has got the old wife on his back
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
And like a poor peddler he's carried his pack
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

He has carried her home to his own porch-door
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
Then bade her go in for a bitch and a whore
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

Then straight he makes fifty, the pick of his band
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
Turn out on her guard in the clap of a hand
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

The old woman went through them like any would bear
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
Whoever she got hands on came near her no more
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

A smoked little devil looks over the wall
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
' O help, master, help, or she will ruin us all!'
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

The Devil he swore by the edge of his knife
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
He pitied the man that was tied to a wife
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).


The Devil he swore by the church and the bell
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
He was not in wedlock, thank Heaven, but in Hell
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

Then Satan has traveled again with his pack
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
And to her old husband he has carried her back
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

' I have been a Devil the most of my life
(Hey and the rue grows lovely with thyme),
But never was in Hell till I met with a wife.'
(And the thyme it is withered, and rue is in prime).

 

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