Gillie Mor

Words: Hamish Henderson / Music: trad
Lyric as sung by Dick Gaughan

O horo, the Gillie Mor, whit's the ploy ye're on sae early?
Braw news sae tell it fairly, O horo, the Gillie Mor
News o him yon muckle callant, whistlin at the smiddy door
Tak yer bow for here's yer ballant! O horo, the Gillie Mor

O horo, the Gillie Mor, come awa an gie's yer blether
Here's a dram'll droun the weather, O horo, the Gillie Mor
Sons o birk an pine an rowan, Jocks an Ivans by the score
Swappin yarns tae cowe the gowans, O horo, the Gillie Mor

O horo, the Gillie Mor, nou's the time the haimmer's ready
Haud the tangs, aye haud thaim steady, O horo, the Gillie Mor
Gar the iron ring a'bhallich, gar it ring frae shore tae shore
Leith tae Kiev, Don tae Gairloch, O horo, the Gillie Mor

O horo, the Gillie Mor, here's a weld'll wear forever
Our grip thae cannae sever, O horo, the Gillie Mor
Ane's the wish yoke's us thegither, ane's the darg that lies afore
You an me, the man, the brither - me an you, the Gillie Mor


Song Notes

The tune is "Whistle Ower The Lave O't". Written at the height of the Cold War as a message of friendship and solidarity from the Blacksmith's Trade Union in Leith in Scotland to the Blacksmith's Trade Union in Kiev in the Ukraine.

It creates the character of the Gillie Mor (The Big Lad) as a kind of Paul Bunyan-esque giant to symbolise the industrial working class.

celtic knotwork


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