MUSIC: Erin Go Bragh – Dick Gaughan

A come fae Argyll in the Heilans sae braw, Bit A ne’er took it ill bein caad Erin-go-Bragh

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I’d heard that Edinburgh was nicknamed “Auld Reekie” due to the unsavory aroma that hung over the city, once upon a time; a result of emptying ye olde chamber pot out the window type o’ business, no doubt.  Consulting The Hamely Tongue: A personal record of Ulster-Scots in County Antrim I discover the following corroborating amusement:

reek:  n. smoke (a reek o the pipe).  reekied (of tea, etc.) having a smoky taste.  wudnae gie ye the reek 0 his fart (of a very stingy person).

The Dictionary of the Scots Language/Dictionar o the Scots Leid offers a more comprehensive view of the word reek, leading one to suspect that it’s entirely possible Wikipedia is correct in stating “The city is affectionately nicknamed Auld Reekie, Scots for Old Smoky, for the views from the country of the smoke-covered Old Town.”

Erin-Go-Bragh
Dick Gaughan

Ma name’s Duncan Campbell fae the shire o Argyll
A’ve traivellt this country for mony’s the mile
A’ve traivellt thro Irelan, Scotlan an aa
An the name A go under’s bauld Erin-go-Bragh

Ae nicht in Auld Reekie A walked doun the street
Whan a saucy big polis A chanced for tae meet
He glowert in ma face an he gied me some jaw
Sayin whan cam ye owre, bauld Erin-go-Bragh?

Well, A am not a Pat tho in Irelan A’ve been
Nor am A a Paddy tho Irelan A’ve seen
But were A a Paddy, that’s nothin at aa
For thair’s mony’s a bauld hero in Erin-go-Bragh

Well A know ye’re a Pat by the cut o yer hair
Bit ye aa turn tae Scotsmen as sune as ye’re here
Ye left yer ain countrie for brakin the law
An we’re seizin aa stragglers fae Erin-go-Bragh

An were A a Pat an ye knew it wis true
Or wis A the devil, then whit’s that tae you?
Were it no for the stick that ye haud in yer paw
A’d show ye a game played in Erin-go-Bragh

An a lump o blackthorn that A held in ma fist
Aroun his big bodie A made it tae twist
An the blude fae his napper A quickly did draw
An paid him stock-an-interest for Erin-go-Bragh

Bit the people cam roun like a flock o wild geese
Sayin catch that daft rascal he’s killt the police
An for every freen A had A’m shair he had twa
It wis terrible hard times for Erin-go-Bragh

Bit A cam tae a wee boat that sails in the Forth
An A packed up ma gear an A steered for the North
Fareweill tae Auld Reekie, yer polis an aa
An the devil gang wi ye says Erin-go-Bragh

Sae come aa ye young people, whairever ye’re from
A don’t give a damn tae whit place ye belang
A come fae Argyll in the Heilans sae braw
Bit A ne’er took it ill bein caad Erin-go-Bragh

2 comments on “MUSIC: Erin Go Bragh – Dick Gaughan”

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