The Dundee Weaver

A Rant About Lyrics Sites - Page 2

Here is a perfect example of what I've been talking about on the previous page about the wisdom of not trusting what is presented on lyrics websites.

There is a famous bawdy Glasgow street song called "The Dundee Weaver". Some years ago I came across a "lyric" for it on a so-called "Irish Lyrics" website and I was quite literally laughing for days afterwards as it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

Technically, the song is written in a hybrid Scots-English but even the English words are given heavy Scots pronunciation. I am therefore entirely sympathetic to any non-Scot who mishears or misinterprets what is being sung. But someone doing so is placing themselves right in the firing line if they then attempt to transcribe what they think they are hearing and present it as an authoritative lyric.

Particularly when most of their transcription is completely meaningless gibberish bearing no resemblance, not just to Scots, but to any other known language.

Because of what I said earlier on page 1 about lyrics sites simply harvesting lyrics from other sites, the pile of gibberish is now on at least 8 other "lyrics sites" where it is presented without comment as being the definitive lyric of the song "The Dundee Weaver".

What is really disturbing about this is that the most casual, elementary, tiny piece of thought or research would have told the author that what they were putting on their website was, as we say in Scotland, utter keech ("keech" = "excrement") and to anyone with one functioning braincell, would brand their site as being a totally unreliable source.

The real potential for disaster is that someone (non-Scots) who doesn't know any better, but who has heard the song somewhere and is looking for the lyric, might end up learning the load of keech presented on one of those sites and some day sing it in front of a Scot, resulting in acute embarrassment and shame at the ensuing howls of derision.

First, I'll give the text of the song as it is actually sung. (Don't worry if you don't understand it, I do translate it into English below.)


The Actual Song

Oh, A'm a Dundee weaver
An A come fae bonnie Dundee
I met a Glesca fellae
An he gaed courtin me
He tuik me out a-walkin
Doun by the Kelvin Haa
An thair the dirty wee rascal stole
Ma thingumijig awa
An thair the dirty wee rascal stole
Ma thingumijig awa

He tuik me oot a-walkin
Doun by the Roukin Glen
He showed tae me a bonnie wee bird
An he showed me a bonnie wee hen
He showed tae me the bonnie wee birds
Fae a linnet tae a craw
An he showed tae me the bird that stole
Ma thingumijig awa
An he showed tae me the bird that stole
Ma thingumijig awa

Noo A'll ging back tae Dundee luikin
Bonnie, young an fair
A'll pit oan ma buckle an shune
An tie back ma bonnie broun hair
A'll pit oan ma corsets tight
Tae mak ma middle luik smaa
An wha wad ken fae ma rosie cheeks
That ma thingumijig's awa?
An wha wad ken fae ma rosie cheeks
That ma thingumijig's awa?

Come aa ye Dundee weavers an
Tak this advise fae me
Never let a fellae
An inch abune yer knee
Never staun at the back o a close
Or up agin a waa
For if ye dae ye can safely say
Yer thingumijig's awa
For if ye dae ye can safely say
Yer thingumijig's awa

And here, in all its glorious, surreal entirety, is the gibberish version, exactly as it is presented on at least 8 sites claiming to be genuine sources of the lyrics for The Dundee Weaver. I haven't altered a single character. Of particular hilarity is the completely arbitrary insertion of apostrophes in the most bizarre places.

The true absurdity of it will probably only be appreciated by Scots. If you are a Scot, I strongly recommend that you have close to hand a supply of screen-cleaning materials and some dry underwear.


The "Other Version"

Oh I am a Dundee weaver and I come fray' bonny Dundee
I met a Glasgy' fairlay and teachin' courting me
He took me ou' to walking dun by the Calvin Ha'
And there the Dundee be rascal sto'
I thinkin' me jig awa'
There the Dundee be rascal sto'
Me thinkin' me jig awa'

He took me ou' to walking dun by the rocking glen
He show to me the bonny wi' bought
And he showed me the bonny wi' had
He show to me the bonny wi' bought
Fray linen tay a co'
And he showed to me the bob that sho'
That thinkin' me jig awa'
He showed to me the bob that sho'
That thinkin' me jig awa'

Do I'll gang back to Dundee locking bonny all in fair
I'll put on me buckle and shoe and tie up my bonny bloom hair
I'll put on the corset tight to mak' my bonny look small
And wa' ma' canning me rosy chicks
I thinking me jigs awa'
And wa' ma' canning me rosy chicks
I thinkin' me jigs awa'

O' all you Dundee weavers tak' this advise by me
Never let a fairlay an inch abov' your knee
Never stond' the back of ye' clothes or up again' the wa'
For if you' di' can safely say
I thinkin' me jigs awa'
For if you' di' can safely say
I thinkin' me jigs awa'


I still wet myself whenever I read that.

" ... wa' ma' canning me rosy chicks ... "

What the ...?!

Jings, crivvens, help ma boab, Vogon poetry hasn't got a look in.

Now, for precise comparison, here is the song again, line by line, with below each line an English translation of the Scots, and below that, the line as it is given on those 8 so-called "Lyrics" websites.


Comparison

Actual : Oh, A'm a Dundee weaver
English : (Oh, I'm a Dundee weaver)
Doggerel : Oh I am a Dundee weaver

[ OK, so far so good ... ]

An A come fae bonnie Dundee
(And I come from lovely Dundee)
and I come fray' bonny Dundee

[ Uh-oh - "I come rioting lovely Dundee"? and why the apostrophe? ]

I met a Glesca fellae
(I met a Glasgow fellow)
I met a Glasgy' fairlay

[ Never heard of the word myself, but one presumes by "fairlay" they mean honest sex ... and, oops, there's another of those damned apostrophes ... ]

An he gaed coortin me
(And he went courting me)
and teachin' courting me

[ I wave a white flag and retire, helpless against the tide of Vogonoscity ]

He tuik me oot a-walkin
(He took me out a-walking)
He took me ou' to walking

Doun by the Kelvin Haa
(Down by the Kelvin Hall)
dun by the Calvin Ha'

An thair the dirty wee rascal stole
(And there the dirty little rascal stole)
And there the Dundee be rascal sto'

Ma thingumijig awa
(My thingumijig away)
("thingumijig" - virginity)

I thinkin' me jig awa'

He tuik me oot a-walkin
(He took me out a-walking)
He took me ou' to walking

Doun by the Roukin Glen
(Down by the Rouken Glen)
(Rouken (pron. "rookin") Glen is a park in Glasgow)

dun by the rocking glen

He showed tae me a bonnie wee burd
(He showed to me a lovely little bird)
He show to me the bonny wi' bought

An he showed me a bonnie wee hen
(And he showed me a lovely little hen)
And he showed me the bonny wi' had

He showed tae me the bonnie wee burds
(He showed to me the lovely little birds)
He show to me the bonny wi' bought

Fae a linnet tae a craw
(From a linnet to a crow)
Fray linen tay a co'

An he showed tae me the burd that stole
(And he showed to me the bird that stole)
And he showed to me the bob that sho'

Ma thingumijig awa
(My thingumijig away)
That thinkin' me jig awa'

Noo A'll ging back tae Dundee
(Now I'll go back to Dundee)
Do I'll gang back to Dundee

Luikin bonnie, young an fair
(Looking lovely, young and fair)
locking bonny all in fair

A'll pit oan ma buckle an shune
(I'll put on my buckle and shoes)
I'll put on me buckle and shoe

An tie up ma bonnie broun hair
(And tie up my lovely brown hair)
and tie up my bonny bloom hair

A'll pit oan ma corsets tight
(I'll put on my corsets tight)
I'll put on the corset tight

Tae mak ma body luik smaa
(To make my body look small)
to mak' my bonny look small

An wha wad ken fae ma rosie cheeks
(And who would know from my rosy cheeks)
And wa' ma' canning me rosy chicks

That ma thingumijig's awa?
(That my thingumijig's gone?)
I thinking me jigs awa'

Come aa ye Dundee weavers
(Come all you Dundee weavers)
O' all you Dundee weavers

Tak this advice fae me
(Take this advice from me)
tak' this advise by me

Never let a fellae
(Never let a fellow)
Never let a fairlay

An inch abune yer knee
(An inch above your knee)
an inch abov' your knee

Never staun at the back o a close
(Never stand at the back of a close)
(a close is a common entrance in a tenement building)

Never stond' the back of ye' clothes

Or up agin a waa
(Or up against a wall)
or up again' the wa'

For if ye dae ye can safely say
(For if you do you can safely say)
For if you' di' can safely say

Yer thingumijig's awa
(Your thingumijig's gone)
I thinkin' me jigs awa'

And with that, I rest my case. Unless you feel you can trust the source, be cautious with "Lyrics Sites".

And, in particular, be extra cautious with sites proclaiming themselves to be "Irish Lyrics Sites".


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