Thursday, 18 August 2011

Bonnie Wee Lassie Frae Gourock

Sticking with our Gourock theme, here's what can only be described as "a music hall classic", made famous by Belle Stewart. It is actually a Harry Lauder song called "Piper MacFarlane".

The frankly fantastic oral history archive Tobar an Dualchais notes that  "The words were written by Lauder and Gerald Grafton, to music by Lauder, published and recorded for Path√© in 1906. Both MacColl & Seeger (in 'Till Doomsday in the Afternoon', 1986, pp. 262-264) and Geordie McIntyre (in his notes to 'Belle Stewart: Queen Among the Heather' CDTRAX9055, 1998) note that Belle learned the song from a broadsheet, from The Poet's Box in Dundee."

The song details Piper MacFarlanes "comical" courtship of a young Gourock lass, presumably there is a verse missing detailing a visit to Cleats and the Cafe Continental.

Jim Lang - Bonnie Wee Lassie Frae Gourock by Auld Dunrod


O! Am Piper McFarlane and A’m on the beer
But still A’m in love wi’ a  bonnie  wee dear
Ye’d like her yersel’ if ye only could see her
Her father’s the grocer in Gourock
The first time I met her I’ll never forget
The rain it was raining the weather was wet
I kissed her and told her that she was a pet
This bonnie wee lassie frae Gourock

O! she’s a bonnie wee beautiful thing
I’ve popp’d her the question and bought her the ring
A’m goin’ tae get married sometime in the Spring
But I dinna like to askin’ her faither

O! I took her tae London I did by the by
Tae spend a few days wi’ my auld freen’ Mackie
Mac “Who’s the lady?” “D’ye no ken?” said I
“That’s the bonnie wee lassie fra Gourock”
Mac started to tickle her under the chin
When who but his wife Missis Mac should come in
She shifted his whiskers and half o’ his chin
Thro; this bonnie wee lassie fra Gourock


O! I borrow’d twa pounds frae my auld freen Mackie
And I took my wee sweetheart to dine at the Cri
When a masher he started a winkin’ his eye
At my bonnie wee lassie frae Gourock
Her temper it rose she fair played the deuce
She walloped his neck wi’ the leg o’ a goose
She hunted the masher all over the hoose
“Twas a glo-rious vict’ry for Gourock


O! I bought my wee lassie a nice bit of lace
And a hat and some powder tae puff on her face
We caused a sensation all over the place
Me and my lassie frae Gourock
I treated her handsomely just like a swell
Took her roon’ tae the back o’ a first class hotel
Put her nose tae  the window to smell the nice smell
She’d ne’er smelt a smell like it in Gourock


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