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Weary Pund O' Tow

  • (Robert Burns)

    Chorus:
    The weary pund, the weary pund
    The weary pund o' tow
    I think my wife will end her life
    Before she spin her tow

    I gave my wife a stane o' lint as good as e'er did grow
    And a' that she has made o' that is ae poor pund o' tow

    There sat a bottle in a bole ayont the ingle low
    And aye she took another sook to drouk the stourie to

    Cries I, For shame, ye dirty dame, gae spin your tap o' tow
    She took the rock, and wi' a knock brak' it o'er my pow

    At last her feet, I sang to see't, gae'd skippin' o'er yon knowe
    And e'er I wad another jad', I'll wallop in a tow

    So come all ye jolly bachelors that fain would married be (fain - eager to)
    I pray you be advised, tak' this note from me
    A single life is free frae strife, frae sorrow, grief and woe
    Besides a wife will end your life wi' the weary pund o' tow

    weary - tiresome; tow - spun hemp or flax
    stone: 14lbs; lint - flax
    bole - recess; ingle - fireplace; low - glow; sook - drink; drouk - wet; stourie - dusty
    tap - load; pow - head
    jad' - woman; wallop - swing

    (as sung by Tony Cuffe)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1988:] A song by Robert Burns, in which he satirizes a farmer's expectations of his new wife. He thinks he's getting a servant, but she has other ideas, and when he orders her to get on with her spinning, she breaks the distaff over his head and leaves him to his fate. The spinning of flax or hemp seems to have been an important cottage industry in Scotland, and provided a much needed supplement to a poor family's income. The tow would be taken away to be made into rope, hence the reference to the hangman's rope in the fourth verse. The last verse comes from an older song of the same name, which Burns may have used as a model for his verses. (Notes Tony Cuffe, 'When First I Went To Caledonia')

Quelle: Scotland

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