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The Keach I the Creel

No: 281; variant: 281B

  1. As bonnie may went up the street, Some sweetmeats for to buy, There was a young clerk followed after her, And followed her by and by, by, And followed her by and by.
  2. ‘It’s bonnie may, where do you stay? Or where is ‘t that you be? Oh if the night be neer so dark, Awat I’ll come and visit thee.’
  3. ‘My father locks the door at een, My mother keeps the key; Gin ye were neer sic a rovin blade, Ye canna win in to me.’
  4. The young clerk has a young brither, And a wily wag was he; He’s made to him a long ladder, Wi thirty steps and three.
  5. And he’s put it to the chimney-top, And the creel he’s put on a pin, And he’s put it to the chimney-top, And he’s let the young clerk in.
  6. The auld wife she was standing by, She heard a word was said; ‘I could lay my life,’ said the silly auld wife, ‘There’s a man in oor dochter’s bed.’
  7. The auld man he cam doun the stairs To see if it were true; The young clerk was lying in bonnie may’s arms, And she’s covered him oer wi blue.
  8. ‘Where are you goin, dear father?’ she says, ‘Where are you going so late? You stopped me of my evening prayers, And oh, but they were sweet!’
  9. ‘The deil tak you, ye silly auld wife, And an ill death may ye dee! For your dochter was lyin wi the book in her arms, And she’s praying for you and me.’
  10. The auld wife still standin no far by, Still hearin a word, she said, ‘Ye may say as ye like, ye silly auld man, There’s a man in oor dochter’s bed.’
  11. I dinna ken what’s taen the auld wife’s fit, But into the creel she flew; The young clerk[’s brither] being at the chimney-top, He found the creel was fu.
  12. He’s thrown the rope out-owre his shouther, And to him he did draw; He’s drawn her up, he’s drawn her doun, He’s drawn her through and through.
  13. Till the auld wife she began to cry, I’m just departin noo! But aye he drew her up and doun, And drew her through and through.
  14. He’s drawn her up, he’s let her doun, He’s gien her evendoun fall, Till every rib on the auld wife’s side Played nick-nack on the wall.
  15. It’s O the blue, the bonnie, bonnie blue, I wish the blue may do weel! For every auld wife that is jealous o her dochter May be rockit to the d—l in a creel!