The Berries

The Berries (2019) *new*

  1. The Berry Fields of Blair
  2. Come A’ Ye Fisher Lassies
  3. Lady Dysie
  4. Lonely In The Bothy
  5. John Maclean’s March
  6. John C Clark
  7. Lassie Lie Near Me
  8. Guise o’ Tough
  9. Gloomy Winter
  10. The Banks of Inverurie
  11. The Twa Gadgies

Lyrics for The Berries

1. Berry Fields o’ Blair
Written by Belle Stewart in 1947

When berry time comes roond each year
Blair’s population’s swellin,
There’s every kind o picker there
And every kind o dwellin.
There’s tents and huts and caravans,
There’s bothies and there’s bivvies
And shelters made wi tattie-bags
And dug-outs made wi divvies

There’s corner-boys fae Glesgae,
Kettle-boilers fae Lochee,
There’s miners fae the pits o Fife,
Mill-workers fae Dundee,
And fisherfowk fae Peterheid
And tramps fae everywhere,
Aa lookin fir a livin aff
The berry fields o Blair

There’s travellers fae the Western Isles,
Fae Arran, Mull and Skye;
Fae Harris, Lewis and Kyles o Bute,
They come their luck to try,
Fae Inverness and Aberdeen,
Fae Stornoway and Wick
Aa flock to Blair at the berry time,
The straws and rasps to pick

here’s some wha earn a pound or twa,
Some cannae earn their keep,
There’s some wid pick fae morn till nicht,
And some wid raither sleep.
There’s some wha hae tae pick or stairve,
And some wha dinna care
There’s comedy and tragedy
Played on the fields o Blair

There’s faimilies pickin for one purse,
And some wha pick alane,
There’s men wha share and share alike
Wi wives wha’s no their ane.
There’s gladness and there’s sadness tae,
There’s happy herts and sare,
For there’s some wha bless and some wha curse
The berry fields o Blair

Before I put my pen awa,
It’s this I’d like to say:
You’ll travel far afore you’ll meet
A kinder lot than they;
For I’ve mixed wi them in field in pub
And while I’ve breath to spare,

I’ll bless the hand that led me tae
The berry fields o Blair

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2. Come A’ Ye Fisher Lassies
Ewan MacCall

Come all you fisher lassies, it’s come awa with me,
Fae Cairnbulg and Gamrie and fae Inverallochie,
Frae Buckie and frae Aberdeen an’ all the country roond,
We’re awa to gut the herring, we’re awa tae Yarmouth toon.

Oh, we rise up in the morning wi your bundles in your hand.
Be at the station early or you’ll surely hae to stand.
Tak plenty to eat and a kettle for your tea,
Or you’ll maybe die of hunger on the way to Yarmouth Quay.

Noo the journey it’s a lang yen and it taks a day or twa,
And when you reach your lodging, sure it’s soon asleep you’ll fa’,
But you’ll rise at five with the sleep still in your e’en,
You’re awa to find the gutting yards along the Yarmouth quay.

Noo there’s coopers there and curers there and buyers, canny chiels,
And lassies at the pickling and others at the creels,
And you’ll wish the fish had been all left in the sea
By the time you finish guttin’ herring on the Yarmouth quay.

Well, it’s early in the morning, it’s late into the nacht,
Your hands are cut and chappit and they look an unco sight,
And you greet like a wean when you put ’em in the bree,
And you wish you were a thoosand mile awa from Yarmouth Quay.

Noo we’ve gutted fish in Lerwick and in Stornoway and Shields.
Worked all on the Humber ’mongst the barrels and the creels.
Whitby, Grimsby, we’ve traivelled up and doon,
But the place to see the herring is the quay at Yarmouth Toon.

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3. Lady Dysie

There once was a king and a very great king
And a king o’ muckle fame
He had a bonny dochter fair
Lady Dysie was her name
And word’s gane up and word’s gane doon
And word’s gane tae the king
Lady Dysie she gans richt roond aboot
And tae wha they dinna ken.

When bells were rung and Mass was sung
And they’ve all gan tae their rest
The king’s gane tae Lady Dysie’s bower
But he wasnae a welcome guest
He’s pu’d the curtains roond and roond
And there he sat him doon
“Oh tell tae me Lady Dysie he said
Wha gars ye gan sae roond?

“Is it tae a lord or tae a laird
Or a Baron o’ high degree?
Oh tell tae me, Lady Dysie, he said
And I pray ye dinna lee.”
“Oh it’s nae tae a lord and it’s nae tae a laird
Nor to ony barony
Oh it’s tae Robin the kitchie boy
Wha calls sae aye tae me.”

He’s called his merry men oot by ane
By ane by twa by three
At last came Roger the kitchie boy
And he’s dashed him tae a tree
He’s taken oot that bonnie boy’s heirt
Put it in a cup o’ gold
And sent it tae Lady Dysie’s bower
Because she’d been sae bold.

SOLO full verse Bb trumpet

“Farewell faither farewell mither
Farewell tae pleasure and joy
He died for me I’ll die for him
Though he was but a kitchie boy.
Farewell faither farewell mither
Farewell my brothers three
For ye thought ye had ta’en the life o ane
But you’ve ta’en the life o three.”

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4. Lonely In The Bothy
Charlie Allan

When I gaed hame tae Ardo, well the boss had nae a clue
He couldna back a tractor-cairt and there was no way he could ploo
Therefore I got a’ the work tae dae, that suited me just fine
And I baed in the little timmer bothy.

Far the cauld winds they blaw in aneth my timber bothy door
And the moosies the duck in and oot the knotholes in the floor
But that’s nae the worst o bein here, discomforts I can thole
It’s lonely at nicht in the bothy.

Well I sort the mannie’s fancy bulls and pit them oot for Perth
And I ken that I’m the best showman that ever walked the earth
But fan aa the heirg’s over and when aa the silver’s won
It’s back tae my little timber bothy.

Far the cauld winds…

Well now I’ve nae wife tae tie me doon, so I’m aye on the loose
And nearly every nicht I’m doon at Waldies public hoose
But ye canna blame a man for takkin comfort where he can
And it’s lonely at nicht in the bothy.

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5. John Maclean’s March
Words: Hamish Henderson / Music: trad

Hey, mac, did ye see him as he cam doun by Gorgie
Awa owre the Lammerlaw an north o the Tay?
Yon man is comin an the hail toun is turnin out
We’re aa shair he’ll win back tae Glesca the day
The jiners an hauders-on are merchin fae Clydebank
Come on nou an hear him he’ll be owre thrang tae bide
Turn out Jock an Jimmie, leave yer cranes an yer muckle gantries
Great John Maclean’s comin hame tae the Clyde.

Argyll St and London Road’s the route that we’re merchin
The lauds frae the Broomielaw are here, tae a man!
Hey Neil, whaur’s yer hauderums, ye big Heilan teuchtar
Get yer pipes, mate, an merch at the heid o the clan
Hullo, Pat Malone, shair ah knew ye’d be here, so,
The red an the green, laud, we’ll wear side by side
Gorbals is his the day an Glesca belangs tae him
Nou great John Maclean’s comin hame tae the Clyde.

Forward tae Glesca Green we’ll merch in guid order
Will grips his banner weill, that boy isnae blate!
Aye, weel, heir’s Johnnie nou, that’s him heir the bonnie fechter
Lenin’s his feir, laud, and Liebknecht’s his mate
Tak tent whan he’s speakin for thae’ll mind whit he said here
In Glesca, our city, an the hail warl besides
Och man the scarlet’s bonnie, here’s tae ye Heilan Shonie
Great John Maclean’s comin hame tae the Clyde

Aye weel, whan it’s feenisht A’ll awa back tae Springburn
Come hame tae yer tea, John, we’ll sune hae ye fed
It’s hard wark the speakin, och, A’m shair he’ll be tired the nicht
A’ll sleep on the flair, mac, an gie John the bed
The hail city’s quiet nou, it kens that he’s restin
At hame wi’s Glesca freens, heir fame an heir pride
The red will be worn, ma lauds, an Scotlan will merch again
Nou great John Maclean has come hame tae the Clyde.

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6. John C Clark
Karine Polwart

John C Clark is a really nice man
He works in gas installation
And he drives a gas installation van
Fills it up at the local gas station
And you know, I never saw him with a woman before
The women round here think they’re worth a lot more
He’s the kind of man your mother would adore
And that’s no recommendation.

Now John C Clark aint too good-lookin
I guess he looks like a gas installer
And for all that gas, he still ain’t cookin
Yeah he could do with being six inches taller
But then I ain’t no pretty picture myself
I’ve been sitting round here too long on the shelf
And I could dream about bein with someone else
But he could be a whole lot smaller.

Now John C Clark has a crush on me,
He told me so one Sunday
And as I had no other offers
I agreed to meet him on the Monday
And the big surprise is that we really got on
We talked about all kinds of weird things till dawn
I plucked up the courage and said: “Hey John,
Would you meet me again on Friday?”

And so we met at the pizza parlour in town
By then my belly was warming
And as we waited on the tiramisu
I kissed him without warning.
I said: “I’m not getting any younger you know,
And would you like to give it a go?”
He repied: “I guess so”,
And I packed my things in the morning.

Now me and John we live together
We have a house that’s full of laughter
We’ve got gas central heating, our bellies are warm
And John’s insulated the rafters
And you know we really like each other a lot
For all the gas we will never be hot
But we’re making the best of what we’ve got
We’re living happily ever after.

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7. Lassie Lie Near Me
Robert Burns

Lang hae we pairted been, lassie my dearie
Now we are met again, lassie lie near me
Near me, near me, lassie my dearie
Lang hast thou lain thy lain
Lassie, lie near me.

Frae dread Culloden’s field, bluidie and drearie
Mournin’ my country’s fate, lanelie and wearie
Wearie, wearie, lanelie and wearie
Become a sad banished wight, far frae my dearie

Loud, loud the wind did roar, stormie and eerie
Far frae my native shore, dangers stood near me
Near me, near me, dangers stude near me
Nou I’ve escaped them a’, lassie lie near me.

Aa that I hae endured, lassie, my dearie,
Here in thine arms is cured, lassie lie near me
Near me, near me, lassie lie near me
Lang has thou lain they lane, lassie lie near me.

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8. Guise o’ Tough
(Trad, adapted from Geordie Murison’s version)

Noo I come in by Alford, and for tae get a fee
Twas there I met wi Jamie Broon, and there we did agree

Dum-a-hie dum doo, a hie dum dae,
Hie dum a diddle, dum a hie dum dae

So I agreed wi Jamie Broon, in the year o ninety-one,
Tae ging hame an ca his second pair, an be his orra man.

When I gaed hame tae Guise o’ Tough, t’was on an evenin clear,
From oot aboot some orra hoose, the gaffer did appear.

Says: “I’m the maister o the place, an that’s the mistress ere,
And if ye want some breid and cheese, ye’ll surely get your share.”

Then I gaed tae the stable, my pairie for tae view,
And fegs they were a dandy pair, a chestnut an a blue.


Early in the morning, I yoked tae the ploo,
Lang lang er lowsin time, my pairie gart ma rue.

The ploo she wisna workin weel, she widna throw the fur,
The gaffer says ere’s a better ane at the smiddy tae gang for.

When I got hame the new ploo, she pleased me unco weel,
But I thocht she wid be better gin she had a utside wheel.


We hae a muckle Baillie, Wallace is his name,
He can fair red up the nowt fin he taks doon the kaim.

We hae a gallant kitchie deem, Simpson it’s her name,
But ocht tae tell her pedigree, twid be an affa shame.

She dresses up un Sunday, her heid abeen the level,
Wi twa raw o ivory wid scare the very devil.


It’s the eyne o ma sang, I’ll nae sing ony more,
Gin ye’ve been offended, ye can walk utside the door.

Chorus x 2

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9. Gloomy Winter
Robert Tannahill

Gloomy winter’s noo awa
Saft the westlin’ breezes blaw
Amang the birks o Stanley shaw
The mavis sings fu’ cheery-o.

Sweet the crawflower’s early bell
Decks Gleniffer’s dewy dell
Bloomin’ like yer bonny sel’
My young, my artless dearie-o.

Come my lassie let us stray
O’er Gleniffer’s sunny brae
Blythely spend the gowden day
‘Midst joys that never weary-o.

Tow’ring o’er the Newton woods
Lav’rocks fan the snaw-white clouds
Siller saughs wi’ downy buds
Adorn the banks sae briery-o.

Round the sylvan fairy nooks.
Feath’ry breckans fringe the rocks
‘Neath the brae the burnie jouks
And ilka thing is cheery-o.

Trees may bud and birds may sing
Flowers may bloom and verdure spring
But joy tae me they canna bring
Unless wi you my dearie-o.

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10. The Banks of Inverurie

One day as I gaed walking and doon as I did pass,
By the banks o Inverurie I spied a bonnie lass;
Her hair hung o’er her shoulders broad, an’ her een like diamonds shine
On the banks of Inverurie and oh gin she were mine.

I did embrace that fair maid wi a’ the haste I could,
For her hair hung o’er her shoulders broad all in its threads of gold;
Her hair hung o’er her shoulders broad, an’ her een like diamonds shine
On the banks of Inverurie and oh gin she were mine.

She said, “My man give over, do not delude me so,
For aifter kissin’ wooing comes an’ aifter wooing woe;
My tender hairt ye will ensnare an’ I beguiled will be,
On the banks of Inverurie I’ll walk alone,” said she.

She said: “My man, give over your company refrain,
For I know you are of gentle blood, but of a graceless clan;
I know your occupation, lad, and good it cannot be,
On the banks of Inverurie I’ll walk alone,” said she.

Well he said, “My pretty fair maid, the truth I’ll ne’er deny,
On the banks o Inverurie fair maids beguiled have I;
I used to flatter fair maids but now I’ll faithful be.
On the banks of Inverurie, if you would marry me.”

He’s pit a horn tae his lips an’ he blew loud and shrill,
Till four and twenty armed men came tae their master’s call,
“I used to flatter fair maids but now I’ll faithful be,”
“On the banks of Inverurie if you would marry me.”
Ral “On the banks of Inverurie, I’ll walk alone,” said she.

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11. The Twa Gadgies

Well I met twa gadgies doon the road, quarrellin like tae kill,
Gin it wis sax or sivven miles tae yon toon oot ower the hill,
Well I hae my supper in my pyok and a’ my time is free,
And be it sax or sivven miles tae some toon, well whit’s the odds tae me?

Noo I tramps the country up and doon, at monies an orra job I’m hired,
But I see nae sense in raxin masel, na I’ll nae work when I’m tired.
For I just need eneuch tae keep masel and my doss costs me nae fee,
And be it sax or sivven miles tae some toon, well whit’s the odds tae me?

Noo I’ve nivver taen tae the wimmen fowk, nae doubt they’ve nivver taen tae me,
So the road I maun tak is a lonely road, wi four wa’s noo I couldna fa’ tae,
And the bed I maun mak is a lonely bed, hin yon dyke or below some tree,
And be it sax or sivven miles tae some toon, well whit’s the odds tae me?

Well I pity fowk o gentle birth, tied up wi parasols and pedigrees,
Gin they could throw the shackles aff, then like me they’d be truly free,
For I wis born hin a dry stane dyke, hin a dry stane dyke I’ll die,
And be it sax or sivven miles tae some toon, well what’s the odds tae me?

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