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Tak Your Auld Cloak About Ye

[Scenery & Songs Contents]

Tak Your Auld Cloak About Ye. 

Words from Allan Ramsay’s Tea Table Miscellany

Arranged by Finlay Dun. 


In winter when the rain rain’d cauld, 

And frost and snaw on ilka hill, 

And Boreas wi’ his blast sae bauld, 

Was threat’ning a’ our kye to kill; 

Then Bell, my wife, wha lo’es na strife, 

She said to me, right hastilie, 

“Get up, gudeman, save Crummie’s life, 

And tak your auld cloak about ye.” 


“Our Crummie is a usefu’ cow, 

And she is come of a good kin; 

Aft has she wet the bairns’s mou, 

And I am laith that she should tyne, 

Get up, gudeman, it is fu’ time, 

The sun shines in the lift sae hie, 

Sloth never made a gracious end, 

Gae tak your auld cloak about ye.” 


“My cloak was ance a gude grey cloak, 

When it was fitting for my wear; 

But now it’s scantly worth a groat, 

For I have worn’t this thretty year; 

Let’s spend the gear that we hae won, 

We little ken the day we’ll die; 

Then I’ll be proud since I have sworn. 

To hae a new cloak about me.” 


“In days when gude King Robert rang, 

His trews they cost but half a croun; 

He thought they were a groat ower dear, 

And ca’ed the tailor thief and loon; 

He was a king that wore a crown, 

And thou’rt a an o’ laigh degree; 

It’s pride puts a’ the country doun, 

Gae tak your auld cloak about ye.” 


“Ilka land has its ain lauch, 

And ilka corn has its ain hool, 

I think the world is a gane wrang, 

Sine ilka wife her man wad rule; 

Do ye no see Rob, Jock, and Hab, 

How they are girded gallantlie, 

While I sit hurklin in the nook, 

I’ll hae a new cloak about me.” 


“Gudeman I way it’s thretty year 

Sin’ we did ane anither ken; 

An’ we hae had atween us twa, 

Of lads and bonnie lassies ten; 

Now they are women grown and men, 

I wish and pray weel may they be; 

And if you’d prove a gude husband, 

E’en tak your auld cloak about ye.” 


“Bell, my wife, she lo’es nae strife, 

But she would guide me, if she can; 

So to maintain an easy life, 

I aft maun yield, though I’m gudeman; 

Nochts to be won at woman’s hand, 

Unless ye gie her a’ the plea; 

Then I’ll leave aff where I began, 

And tak my auld cloak about me.” 

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