Sheet music for Treble Clef Instrument
(attrib. FRANCIS SEMPILL 1616?-1682, c.1642)
Wha wadna be in love wi' bonnie Maggie Lauder? [who]
A piper met her gaun to Fife,
An' speir'd what was't they ca'd her. [asked]
Right scornfully she answered him,
Begone ye hallanshaker, [tramp]
Jog on your gait, ye blatherskate, [prattler]
My name is Maggie Lauder!
"Maggie," quo' he," and by my bags
I'm fidgin' fain to see thee; [fidgetingly eager, ie "fucking glad"]
Sit down by me, my bonnie bird,
In troth I winna steer thee. [won't; stir/molest]
For I'm a piper to mv trade,
My name is Rob the Ranter;
The lasses loup as they were daft [leap/jump about; crazy]
When I blaw up my chanter." [blow]
"Piper," quo' Meg, "ha'e you your bags?
Or is your drone in order ?
If ye be Rob, I've heard o' you,
Live you upon the border?
The lasses a', baith far and near,
Ha'e heard o' Rob the Ranter;
I'll shake my foot wi' right guid will, [I'll dance]
Gif you'll blaw up your chanter."
Then to his bags he flew wi' speed,
About the drone he twistet;
Meg up and wallop'd o'er the green, [galloped]
For brawly could she frisk it. [handsomely]
"Weel done," quo' he^W"play up," quo' she,
"Weel bobb'd," quo' Rob the Ranter;
" 'Tis worth my while to play indeed,
When I ha'e sic a dancer." [such]
"Weel ha'e you play'd your part," quo' Meg,
"Your cheeks are like the crimson;
There's nane in Scotland plays sae weel,
Since we lost Habbie Simpson.*
I've liv'd in Fife, baith maid and wife,
These ten years and a quarter;
Gin ye should come to Anster fair, [If]
Spier ye for Maggie Lauder." [Ask]
Recorded by many, including Jean Redpath on _Skipping Barefoot Through
the Heather_ & Ewan MacColl on _Scots Folk Songs_, Riverside & _Scottish
Popular Songs_, Folkways
*Sempill was the third of the Lairds of Beltrees in Renfrewshire to win
fame as a humorist. His father, Robert Sempill, 1595?-1665? also was
noted as author of the elegy on the famous piper, Habbie Simpson, _The
Piper of Kilbarchan_, c1640. Simpson's actual epitaph, c1600, read:
"quha on his drone bore bony flags, he maid his cheiks as reid as
crimson, and bobbit quhan he blew his bags." (See verse 5.)
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