Henry's Songbook

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  Melody sequenced by Ron Clarke

  • (Trad)

    A dirrum a doo, a dirrum a day
    A dirrum a doo a daddy O
    A dirrum a doo, a dirrum a day
    The day we went to Rothesay O

    One Hogmanay at the Glesga Fair
    There was me masel' an' several mair
    And we a' went oot tae ha'e a tear
    And spend the nicht in Rothesay O
    We wandered down the Broomielaw
    Through wind and rain and sleet and snaw
    Ah but twenty minutes efter twa
    We got the length o' Rothesay O

    A sodger lad named Ru'glen Will
    Wha's regiment's lyin' at Barnhill
    He went aff wi' a tanner tae buy a gill
    In a public house in Rothesay O
    His regiment was done the trick
    He was apprehended gay and quick
    Baith him and the whisky got the nick
    On the day we went to Rothesay O

    Says he, Ah think Ah'd like tae sing
    Says Ah, Ye'll nae dae sic a thing
    He says, Clear the room an' mak' a ring
    An' Ah fecht you a' in Rothesay O
    Says I, Sit down and go to -
    Well the name of the place I willnae tell
    Said he, Sit down and go yoursel'
    And tell 'em you come from Rothesay O

    In search of lodgings we did slide
    Tae find a place whaur we might bide
    There were forty-twa of us inside
    In a single end in Rothesay O
    We a' lay down tae tak' oor ease
    When Cliff here happens for tae sneeze
    And he wakened half a million fleas
    In a single end in Rothesay O

    There was sixty different kinds of bugs
    And some had feet as big as ma clogs
    And they sat on the bed and they cockit their lugs
    And cried, Hurrah for Rothesay O
    Says Ah, Ah think it's time to slope
    For the polis willnae let us stop
    So we went and jined the Band of Hope
    And we said ta-ta to Rothesay O

    (as sung by The Spinners)

    Ru'glen - Rutherglen, part of Glasgow
    single end - one-room flat

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1958:] [A] good rip-roaring Glasgow street-song. [...] Strangely enough, even in its city setting and outlook, Rothesay O retains a good deal of the character of the original [The Tinkler's Waddin']. There is, of course, no place - outside Glasgow - for which Glaswegians have more fondness than Rothesay. Going "doon the watter" was as popular at the turn of the century as it is now. Hence this rather libellous song on dear old Rothesay is sung with a kind of family affection. (Norman Buchan, Weekly Scotsman, 31 July)

  • [1962:] Though this song is possibly music-hall in origin its tune goes back a good deal farther, to the beginning of the last century, when it was used by William Watt in his Tinkler's Waddin'. (Buchan, Folksongs 155)

  • [1965:] According to Ewan MacColl, whose version of this old Scottish song appears [above]: "This saga of a rough weekend in Scotland's most popular holiday resort is based on a country song, The Tinker's Weddin', written by William Watt, a weaver born at West Linton, Peeblesshire, in 1792. The parody followed soon after as a music-hall piece and has been popular ever since." (Reprint Sing Out 8, 69)

  • [1970:] The Band of Hope was splendid. We had lantern lectures, and learned the terrible dangers of picking up handkerchiefs in the street, which might be germ infested. We absorbed gravely the examples of the evils of strong drink. We could see this every Saturday in the tenements, but it drove the lesson home, seeing it up there on the slides, and noting with a shudder every detail of the poor wives and children being thrown into the street because the husband had drunk away the rent money. (Weir 128)

  • [1985:] Of all the people remembering for this book, who were young from the 1880s to the early 1930s, only one solitary soul was not a member of the Band of Hope [...] Its aim was simple ... to bolster youngsters against the temptations of liquor-abuse in a city scourged and sick with drunkenness. [...] A real good night-out for most youngsters, but for others the Band of Hope was the start of a lifelong commitment to temperance. "I chanted wi' the rest ... this would be 1913 or so ... 'Wine is a mocker, strong drink raging. Whoever is deceived thereby is not wise ...' and I just signed up wi' all the others. It was nothin' to me then really, bar a rare night-out. [...] But all the same somethin' must've got across, for there's still a wee voice inside minds me of the Band of Hope and I never took to drinkin' wine or beer or that. And I'm no' sorry." [...] Eighty years after his pledge, little Nellie Edgar made hers. "[...] I agree, wi' the help of promised grace, to abstain from all intoxicating liquor, as a beverage." That principle, and the pledge, were the bones and stomach of the Band of Hope [...] And the Band of Hope in its heyday was well-known to be a breeding-ground for popular performers who grew up to entertain Glasgow in concert parties in the city's public halls. [...] There's a patronising twinkle about most memories of the Band of Hope and it's easy to mock at the ongoings there with the shrivelled-up livers, the readin' sweeties and the concerts. But there was a fair bit of laughter at the time, at the meetings themselves, and maybe the worthy men and women who gave up their time to run them, unconsciously [???] knew a thing or two about psychology and had the right way of it. (Blair, Tea at Miss Cranston's 132ff)
    Until the turn of the century a day off work in July was as much as most ordinary folk could expect for their annual holiday. [...] Actually, as always, it was the top-drawer folk who started the drift to the Clyde coast for holidays [...] Bien folk began to copy biener, in this fancy for real holidays, sleeping in other people's homes: and your ordinary wage-earner took to the whole idea like ducks to water ... literally water, for the Clyde in all its glory was on their doorstep. [...] In the early years of holidays, the Clyde coast resorts remained mainly the quiet resorts they had always been, but as the seasons came and went, each one acquired the personality and characteristics of the clientele which came back year after year. Largs, Saltcoats, Dunoon, Rothesay and Helensburgh were the big time, with dancing, entertainers, pubs, cafes and souvenir shops. (Blair, Tea at Miss Cranston's 147ff)

  • [1986:] An increasingly sophisticated working-class now travels further afield for its pleasures, and a "booze-up" in Rothesay [...] is not the stuff of dreams for folk who have become familiar with a fortnight in the Canary Islands or the Costa Brava. In the 1920s, however, Rothesay and its neighbours, Gourock and Dunoon, provided music-hall comedians and singers with raw material for innumerable jokes and songs. (MacColl/Seeger, Doomsday 262)

  • [1988:] [This was] popularized in the music-halls of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, though it is based on a country song, The Tinkler's Waddin', written in 1792 by a weaver called William Watt. (Palmer, History 171)

  • [1990:] [An] epic story of a doon the watter jaunt [...] (McVicar, ISIS 140)

Quelle: Scotland

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aktualisiert am 02.05.2002