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SING A SANG AT LEAST

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MY BIG KILMARNOCK BONNET
Traditional

 

Resolved that I wid leave the plough,
I said tae farmer Brown;
The money that I've worked for,
Be kind as put it down.   
In Glesca' toon at half-past three,
This very day I mean tae be ;
I've been ower lang a gawkie in the country.

CHORUS.
For wi my big Kilmarnock bonnet,
When I ran tae catch the train;
I'll ne'er forget the mug that I
Was made by Sandy Lane.
He said, man Jock, when you arrive,
Just ask for Katie Bain
She stops in number eighteen street in Glesca'.

Noo, when I arrived in Glesca', freens.
The first chap I did meet;
I said, man, wid ye be as kind
As show me eighteen street.
Says he, d'ye think ye've got a mug,
Take that, an' struck me on the lug ;
An' said, my man ye"ll find yer match in Glesca'.

A bonnie lassie she cam' up,
Dressed in a stripped frock;
An' looked into my face an' said,
Hallo is that you Jock,
Ye're big Kilmarnock's aff the plumb,
Ye're gaun tae stand a glasso' rum;
Hoo lang dae ye intend tae bide in Glesca'.

The lass I treated an' asked the place,
She said she'd let me see ;
An' as for Kate Bane, she said,
She stops next door to me.
Says I, she kens ane Sandy Lane,
The lassie said, the very same !
Come on wi' me tae eighteen strest in Glesca'.

She introduced me tae her neebour,
But if she was Kate Bane ;
I only hope an' trust that I
Will ne'er see her again.
They left me wi my drawers an shirt,
My bonnet besmearred wi' dirt;
Tae wander through the muckle street o' Glesca.

But my sorrow wisna ended,
I had mair tae seek beside ;
The nicht being dark, an' me half drunk,
I tumbled in the Clyde.
They pulled me oot an' swore each yin,
They stood an' watched me jumping in,
An' got me thirty days in "quad" in Glesca

Footnote:  One of the many songs from the 18th and 19th centuries warning young country workers of the dangers lurking in big cities! The Kilmarnock Bonnet of the title is a famous item of Scottish headwear, dating back at least to 1647, when the Kilmarnock Corporation of Bonnet Makers was founded. The song was widely circulated on popular broadsheets and was recorded by the King of the Cornkisters, Willie Kemp in 1936. He was a great favourite of my grandfather’s and I first heard My Big Kilmarnock Bonnet on a wind-up gramophone. Happy days!