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The Keach I the Creel

No: 281; variant: 281C

  1. As I gaed down to Collistown, Some white-fish for to buy, buy, The cunning clerk he followed me, And he followed me speedily, ly, And he followed me speedily.
  2. Says, Faur ye gaun, my dearest dear? O faur ye gaun, my dow? There’s naebody comes to my bedside, And naebody wins to you.
  3. ‘Your brother is a gallant square-wright, A gallant square-wright is he; Ye’ll gar him make a lang ladder, Wi thirty steps and three.
  4. ‘And gar him big a deep, deep creel, A deep creel and a string, And ye’ll come up to my bedside, And come bonnily linken in.’
  5. The auld gudemand and auld gudewife, To bed they went, to sleep; But wae mat worth the auld gudewife! A wink she coudna get.
  6. ‘I dreamd a dreary dream this night, I wish it binna true, That the rottens had come thro the wa, And cutted the coverin blue.’
  7. Then up it raise the auld gudeman, To see gin it was true; And he’s gane to his daughter dear, Says, What are ye doing, my dow?
  8. ‘What are ye doing, my daughter dear? What are ye doing, my dow?’ ‘The prayer book’s in my hand, father, Praying for my auld minnie and you.’
  9. The auld gudeman and auld gudewife, To bed they went, to sleep; But wae mat worth the auld gudewife! But aye she wakend yet.
  10. ‘I dreamd a dreary dream this night, I wish it binna true, That the cunning clerk and your ae daughter Were aneath the coverin blue’
  11. ‘O rise yoursell, gudewife,’ he says, ‘The diel may had you fast! Atween you and your ae daughter I canno get ae night’s rest.’
  12. Up then raise the auld gudewife, To see gin it was true, And she feel arselins in the creel, And up the string they drew.
  13. ‘Win up, win up, gudeman,’ she says, ‘Win up and help me now! For he that ye gae me to last night, I think he’s catchd me now.’
  14. ‘Gin Auld Nick he has catchd you now, I wish he may had you fast; As for you and your ae daughter, I never get kindly rest.’
  15. They howded her, and they showded her, Till the auld wife gat a fa, And three ribs o the auld wife’s side Gaed knip-knap ower in twa.