Listen In — Auld Mansie's Crui'

© 1996 - 2024
This recording is the begining, from memory, of the Shetland poem Auld Maunsie's Crö by Basil R. Anderson
The Scots transcription uses the traditional literary conventions described in Wir Ain Leed, it is a transcription of what was said, not an attempt at phonetic accuracy and may differ from that of the author.

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Recording used courtesy of and hosted by the School of Scottish Studies Archive.

Ootower upon a weel-kent hill,
Whase watters rise tae grind a mill,
Auld Mansie biggit him a crui',
Tae growe him kail for mutton brew –
For Mansie niver thocht him hale,
Withoot sheeps' shanks and cogs o kail.

Nou Mansie's wis as guid a tongue
As iver psaum o David sung.
It fittit weel a guidly mooth,
That spak few wirds at warna truith,
And niver swuir by Guid or Deil
Except whan kinnens ate his kail.

Nou Mansie niver fasht by schuil,
Aye wrocht by random mair than rule;
But, drew he plan or drew he no,
He formed the steid an honest O;
And suin the neebours roond us aw
Rise up a stainch sheep-hauden waw;
than, like a man inspired wi hope,
He clappit on the hintmaist cope,
And as he sew the seed and suit,
Wi thochts o kail he chowed the cuid.

Nou Mansie's crui' wis fair tae see,
A tour and landmerk tae the ee.
Whan Nickie socht the faurdest haaf
He pintit wi the huggie-staff
‘Nou Airtie, keep her tae the North,
Tak Mansie's crui' ower Byre o Scord.''
And whan a schooner teuk the soond
Lat ance her heid wis heeldit roond
Deil aucht the skipper haed tae dae
But haud her for Auld Mansie's crui'.

Mair notit faur than clock or chime
Auld Mansie's crui' proclaimed the time:
For whan the sun raise ower the crui'
Auld Lowrie o the Liogue raise tae.
Whan ower the crui' the sun wis high
Oot staagin cam the Setter kye –
Whit haedna fowk tae truck and dae
Afore she heeldit aff the crui'.
Fae Gaapaslap tae Swartagerts
The crui' wis kent that mony airts
And no oor in aw the twal
But in some place some tongue wad yaul
Tae langsome legs and elbucks tae,
‘The sun is by Auld Mansie's crui'!'

Whan Betty Bunt at bade in Virse
Wis riskin reeds and gerstie-girse,
Auld Mansie's crui' belaw the sun
Said ‘Hame and see the denner on!'
Nou, if her limmer o a lass.
Ne'er heedin hou the time wad pass,
Sat pirlin wi her lazy taes
Amang the ess, afore the aise,
She'd stamp, wi sic an angry fit,
‘Whit! no a tattie washen yet?'
And sweir sic aiths baith smaw and great
As weel micht mak a crui' tae flit.
‘Hing on the kettle in the creuk
Or, trowth, A'll flatten like a fleuk
Thy sweirie carcage whaur thoo sits!
Guid fegs! Thoo'll hae me by ma wits!
The Sorrae scaud thee in his brew –
The sun is by Auld Mansie's crui'.'

And whan at last ...